“POINT BLANK” is now streaming on Netflix starring Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo. This one’s from director Joe Lynch who also did films such as “Mayhem” and “Everly”. The story here is a routine wrong-place/wrong-time scenario when an emergency room nurse is pulled into a helping a murder suspect when his pregnant wife is kidnapped.
Now this isn’t a film that I had a ton of expectation for from the trailer, but I was interested as a fan of the genre. I can enjoy these types of movies even if the creativity level isn’t the highest. That certainly doesn’t always mean they will turn out to be a good time though. This film sadly was one of those that misses the mark and felt every bit of its 86-minute run-time as it progressed through one trope after the other. There was a lack of energy and appeal from the writing, and honestly the performances as well that just ended up making this movie a drag despite a couple fun spots here and there.
The story was a mash-up of tropes like I mentioned, and it made the film extremely predictable. That doesn’t always mean the film will be bad, and sometimes these movies can splash in some charm or some charismatic self-awareness to still manage some entertainment. But with bland dialogue overall, blatant exposition, plot conveniences, and a lack of appealing chemistry between the leads, this one felt overly procedural. And it was also taking itself too seriously because it wasn’t reinventing the wheel at any level. The only thing that would bring the energy up was the music at times, and while it was a great selection, it also felt oddly out of place for the mood of the script.
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Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo were serviceable for the needs of their roles, I guess. Neither shined and without much to work with in terms of character development on the writing side there was only such much they could accomplish. Their chemistry was decent, but it was just a collection of back-and-forth’s we have seen so many times that their dynamic never felt fresh or authentic. Which hindered me from really caring about their characters at all. None of the supporting characters were very interesting either. It was a collection of plug-and-play types which naturally kept the focus on Mackie and Grillo and it honestly got a little boring at times.
There are also plot conveniences which were noticeable, and I felt they came off a little lazy. Primarily that of Grillo’s character who is taken out by a moving car like Brad Pitt in “Meet Joe Black” early in the film. Then a couple scenes later he’s up and fighting in a car-wash like nothing happened and for me it sets the tone in the wrong direction. When the twists and turns in the narrative occur, they are predictable and uninspired. This makes the movie almost instantly forgetting as it is consumed. Which is unfortunate because I think Grillo and Mackie could have done a lot more in this movie had the writing allowed them. I had an open mind going in and routinely I’m slightly sympathetic to the genre. However still this one was a drag and didn’t live up to its potential. There are a couple fun fight-sequences and the action is not bad at all, but the other 70-minutes of movie wrapped around them make it hard to recommend.