In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_jimi_all_is_by_my_side

Jimi: All Is by My Side

What’s fascinating about “Jimi: All Is By My Side” is not only its decision to show us this particular chapter in Hendrix’s life, but also…

Thumb_boxtrolls_ver13

The Boxtrolls

"The Boxtrolls" is a beautiful example of the potential in LAIKA's stop-motion approach, and the images onscreen are tactile and layered. But, as always, it's…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Reviews

Point Blank

Point Blank Movie Review
  |  

"Point Blank" is an ingenious thriller that doesn't make much sense but doesn't need to, because it moves at breakneck speed through a story of a man's desperation to save his pregnant wife after she has been kidnapped. This is the kind of movie where you get involved first and ask questions later.

Samuel (Gilles Lellouche) is a nurse in a Parisian hospital, deeply in love with the very pregnant Nadia (Elena Anaya). It goes without saying that her pregnancy is not uncomplicated; in other words, the last thing she needs is to be kidnapped.

Working on the night shift, Samuel happens upon a murder attempt directed against one of his patients, Sartet (Roschdy Zem). We met Sartet earlier in the pre-title sequence, when the film hit the ground running with a headlong chase through Paris. He was almost killed then. Now someone wants to finish the job. Samuel saves the man's life.

This makes him a hero, and he even boasts a little to his wife. His joy is short-lived. She is kidnapped, and Samuel gets a phone call: He must remove Sartet from the hospital, or she will die.

Everything else in the film expands from his dilemma. The details of the removal. His relationship with Sartet. The identity of the kidnappers. The involvement of a police commandant named Werner (Gerard Lanvin, very effective). Nadia's health. Ethical dilemmas. Moral choices.

To go into any detail would be to rob the movie of its essence. It has to happen to you. It does, with a fearsome urgency. When the movie ended I looked with a little surprise at my watch. You know that instinct you have about where a movie is in its story? You get a feeling for the approach of the ending.

"Point Blank" didn't feel incomplete; indeed, it had a rare economy and unity. But it was only 84 minutes long. That was more or less exactly how long it needed to be. I learn there will be an American remake. You can count on it approaching the two-hour mark as Hollywood pumps in the helium.

Note: This movie has no connection to the Lee Marvin/John Boorman classic.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

The Unloved, Part Ten: "The Village"

Part ten in Scout Tafoya's The Unloved series tackles "The Village."

Why my video essay about "All that Jazz" is not on the Criterion blu-ray

Bob Fosse's masterpiece "All That Jazz" jumps back and forth through the past and the present, and through memory and...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus