Newest Review: ... with a car Kowalski asks what cars need to go back to San Fransisco,his boss and one of his few friend while concerned about his continous... more
Vanishing Point (DVD)
Member Name: blackbob
Vanishing Point (DVD)
Date: 15/02/04, updated on 15/02/04 (141 review reads)
Advantages: Fast paced, Great car/soundtrack, Atmospheric and surreal quality
Disadvantages: Not much plot, Few explanations making it perhaps not to all tastes
What this,vigirn territory,no reviews,am I to be the first to waffle on about this film?Then I'd better make it at least interesting if not informative,here goes!
This is one of my favourite films though it may not be to all tastes,the plot line is rather simple the dialogue is not exactly blistering but it has a hallucinogenic,trance-like quality similar to Easy Rider with long straight open roads and panoramic desert landscapes again like Easy Rier that somehow give it an isolated and surreal character.Centreing round one man hunched over his steering wheel intent on his destination this is however a gripping little film that I recommend.
The main character Kowalski (Barry Newman) who as we find out as the film goes along is an Vietnam veteran,an ex-cop and ex-speedway,nascar racer who delivers cars from state to state.
The film begins on a Sunday in a sleepy Californian town where the police are setting up a road block with a white car fast approaching before we are transported back in time and location to a few days before.11:30 Friday night in Denver,Colorado and returning with a car Kowalski asks what cars need to go back to San Fransisco,his boss and one of his few friend while concerned about his continous working none the less gives him a 160mph beautiful white Dodge Challenger to take back.After failing to persude him to wait until morning,Kowalski hits the road making just one stop to pick up some speed,making a deal with his supplier to be in San Fransisco by 3pm the next day which his friend seems to believe is impossible.Now resupplied Kowalski departs from Denver and heads off into the night.
While racing down the highways and by-ways of Colorado he comes to the attentions of a pair of motorcycle cops who try and pull him over when he takes off,eventually losing them but they radio in and a cross-state police pursuit begins.No explanation,and there are very few throughout this film is given for why he won't
Now we meet the other main character of the film Super Soul a blind,black DJ who hosts a radio show in a back of beyond town in the middle of the californian desert,perhaps looking a little out of place in a town inhabited full of redneck cowboys and dungaree wearing hill-billy types.Hearing on the banned police radio channels that the police are in pursuit of Kowalski he gives advice to him and makes speeches across the radio which don't curry favour with his straw-chewing townspeople.
This cross-state police chase is the what the film follows with Kowaslki throwing off persuers and while racing through the desert he meets a collection of social drop-outs living in the wilderness,interspersed with Super Souls almost narrative speeches across the airwaves and Kowalskis flashbacks that give a few hints to his feelings of isolation.As with book reviews I'd better not divulge the ending so will leave the story there for those who may want to watch it if is aired on television or for hire at the video shop.Isolation seems to be a theme that is well captured throughout this film.
Without much more of a plot,it's a straight forward road movie though the flashbacks hint at an underlying reason for the outcome and the motley band of wierdos met along the wayside add sometimes strange but none the less interesting colour to the bare bones of the story,it may not be a film that would enjoy wide appeal.The lack of definite explanations and the stark,isolated quality along with the vast desert landscape give it a surreal and uncomfortable feel especially when the rednecks get fed up of Super Soul.Similar to Easy Rider it has an unsatisfactory ending though that is the obvious intention in both films.
But with superb car stunts it does make for a fast action film that does have a point to make under the surface and if you like films that are a little different to the typical pedestrian Hollywood fare then it's worth a loo
k.Along with a great music soundtrack that features soul,gospel and country music (singing cowboys - no good!!!) though it does feature the excellent Mountain wtith Mississipi Queen,with the sound of that roaring V8 who needs anymore.This is an atmospheric film and I don't want to give away too much of it which is why there is little about the overall direction and outcome of it in this op.