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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor

Vantage Point puzzles perspective

World leaders gather at the Anti-Terror Summit in Salamanca, Spain, to hear U.S. President Ashton?s (William Hurt) new strategy on terrorism. Protestors picket the city?s plaza, bearing signs of ?World?s No. 1 Terrorist? alluding to the President and other anti-USA material.

Vantage Point, presented by Columbia Pictures, takes on the concept of a high-action thriller involving controversial issues, but utilizes an incomplete and puzzling plot execution.

Unbeknownst to the spectators at the summit, the Secret Service received intelligence confirming a terrorist threat during the event. Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid), an agent nearing retirement, stands vigilant on the dais along with a fellow agent (Matthew Fox), watching for any evidence of an assassination attempt.

A curtain flutters in the window of an apartment overlooking the plaza, drawing Barnes? attention away from the impending threat.

Seconds later, the President begins speaking at the podium. Two shots from an unknown vantage point eliminate the President, ensuing terror among the onlookers and bewilderment in Barnes.

Agent Barnes sights Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker), an American man visiting Spain, with a camcorder in hand. Barnes rushes to him, seizes the camcorder and plays back what had just happened, realizing the terrorists? intent (which the audience never discovers).

A bomb planted in the plaza detonates, transforming a previously crowded plaza into a wasteland and adding to the hysteria.

The movie flashes back 23 minutes earlier to 11:59 A.M. on the day of the summit. Beginning where the story started, the film continues from a different character?s perspective. The plot unfolds by repeating these same situations several times from different characters? points of view.

Although creative, this approach takes an engaging story and complicates it, making for a hard-to-follow film that ultimately leads to an unsatisfying conclusion. If the ?vantage points? were in any other order, the plot would collapse. However, the writer, Barry Levy, succeeds in creating an action-packed blockbuster despite a plot structure prone to failure.

The movie is somewhat short, running at about 1 hour and 30 minutes, but the plot could probably have been completed in about half the time, omitting the annoying rewinding after each perspective. Unfortunately, this is a movie you need to see twice before completely understanding it.

Vantage Point, though accompanied by erratic camera movements, employs dazzling visual effects and action scenes. The cast suits the story and Quaid?s performance is especially notable.

The many twists and unthinkable exploits not only kept the audience guessing until the end, but even left them thinking after the credits.

The plot, regardless of its confusing execution, left me captivated and allowed the film to fulfill its purpose: entertainment.

Rated PG-13 and directed by Pete Travis, Vantage Point is playing at any local theater. For show times and tickets, visit Fandango. For more Vantage Point reviews, visit Rotten Tomatoes.

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  • J

    Jessika SearlesFeb 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

    That is so Courtney Franz’s head in the front! CoCo would be too tall to stay out of this picture. Her hair is RED HOT! Done, of course, by Laurie Franz at Supercuts in Promiseland.