Genre – World Cinema > Thriller
Run Time – 81 minutes
Certificate – 18R
Country – France
Amazon – £ 1.89
Awards – 1 Wins & 4 Nominations
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So Point Blank, not the rather excellent Lee Marvin movie from 1967 but an equally entertaining and violent thriller from France in the year of 2011. With a touch of Bourne on Paris bustling ethnic streets this fast paced action thriller doesn’t let up and leaves no time to breathe, and so few worries about having to think about the distracting subtitles that put so many people off good foreign movies. Proper film fans know full well the best movies are not American these days. French films are cigarette smoking, wine drinking, arrogant nostril snorting relationship bores or cracking cop thrillers like this. I know which I prefer. Hold on to your seats!
Gilles Lellouche ... Samuel Pierret
Roschdy Zem ... Hugo Sartet
Gérard Lanvin ... Commandant Patrick Werner
Elena Anaya ... Nadia Pierret
Mireille Perrier ... Commandant Fabre
Claire Pérot ... Capitaine Anaïs Susini
Moussa Maaskri ... Capitaine Vogel
Pierre Benoist ... Capitaine Mercier
Valérie Dashwood ...Capitaine Moreau
Virgile Bramly ... Capitaine Mansart
Nicky Naudé ... Capitaine Richert
Adel Bencherif ... Luc Sartet
Vincent Colombe ... Interne de garde
Chems Dahmani ... Aide-soignant
Grégoire Bonnet ... Jaffart, chef DPJ
Samuel Pierret (Gilles Lellouche) is a nurse's aide at Paris General. He has a pregnant beautiful wife, Nadia (Elena Anaya), and life is good. At the maternity clinic she is told that she must stay on her back for six weeks to avoid life-threatening complications to her baby to be.
Meanwhile, across Paris, Hugo Sartet (Roschdy Zem), a safecracker and hired thief, is running from two trim looking hitmen. During the chase, he is wiped-out by a motorcycle at the point he was going to be executed and rushed to the hospital where Samuel works.
Shortly after, Samuel notices a man leave Hugo's bedside and arrives just in time to reinsert Hugo's respirator which had been unplugged. He calls the cops and this earns Hugo 24/7 protection detail under the command of career cop Captain Catherine Fabre (Mireille Perrier) .While discussing the attempted murder, another captain, Patrick Werner (Pierre Benoist), is rather too keen to have jurisdiction of the case. He thinks Hugo Sartre is somehow connected with the assassination of a very important Parisian politician and wants him in custody.
When Samuel returns home that day, he and Nadia are attacked and she is abducted. The phone rings to bring him around, a menacing call saying that he must help Hugo escape from the hospital if he wants to see his wife again. Samuel pulls together a plan to slip the cops and brings Hugo around with some adrenaline, explaining the situation, which may or may not be bad for both of them. But outside and Hugo still bleeding they end up at a safe house where Samuel stitches up the wound, Samuel seizing the chance to call Detective Fabre for help after he fails to get his wife back. But that proves to be the wrong move as the cops arrive and soon both he and Hugo are Frances most wanted as the plot thickens and the tempo lifts.
A leaner and meaner 80 minute thriller you are not likely to catch this year. Its great fun and a thousand mile an hour for most of the movie, quickly going through the gears. Mo Farah has more fat on him. To keep the tension going the twists do get a bit over the top towards the end to tie up all the plotlines but you don’t really care as you are hooked in early. Sometimes you just want slick, quality action movie and don’t care about twisting your ankle in the plot holes as you race along with them.
Roschdy Zem as antihero Hugo Sartet is menacing in the lead as Gilles Lellouche as Samuel Pierret is meek, and that contrast powers the movie as both try to stay alive. It’s one of those thrillers where you allow the unlikely and forced twists to keep it all going. It’s no Bourne Identity or anything but great fun although not really for a family audience as there is some violent death in it, the 80 minute run time for foreign markets suggestion a lot of grim stuff cut.
The soundtrack is as energetic as the tempo and although not action packed full of car chases and fist fights the constant suggestion of violence and the growing conspiracy makes what is a formulaic plot of good cop, bad cop work that little better. The tweak of having two anti heroes in the lead works really well. As I say it does get incredulous towards the end and that could have been more sophisticated but you don’t care as you know you have been entertained.
Imdb.com – 6.8 /10.0 (11,599votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 91% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – %critic’s approval
Leonard Maltin –
Film Comment –‘Point Blank is saddled with the same title as John Boorman's 1967 masterpiece, but the only thing the two films really have in common is coolness’.
San Francisco Times –‘All right, this is how to make a thriller: Start with a situation of astonishing difficulty and emotional weight. Then multiply. And keep piling on’.
Chicago Tribune –‘Frantic, violent and unrelenting, it is all of a piece, its tightly packed storytelling making cassoulet of its own implausibilities and familiar terrain covering a web of political and institutional conspiracy’.
Washington Post –‘Point Blank" keeps the adrenaline flowing well past the point at which viewers stop hoping for twists they can't predict’.
The Age –‘This French crime action film doesn't take long to get going and once it gets going it goes supersonic’.
The Mail –‘It moves so fast and furiously that you will forget you are reading subtitles altogether. This is one fantastic mainstream action movie that is so manic it may leave you gasping for air’.
When staying with my boyfriend for the week in North Walsham, we decided to head to Cromer for the day and go to the cinema while we were there. I had been warned beforehand that this cinema was not going to be the kind of thing I was used to due to living in a city but I was prepared to go anyway.
The cinema is situated on 4 Hans Place. If you unfamiliar with Cromer, it is only a couple of minutes walk from either the train station or the pier so it is centrally placed and very easy to get to. Cromer is a pretty small place anyway and has a large information center so if you are unable to find it, it wouldn't be hard to ask for directions. As I walked up to the building, I could see the disgusting pink painted walls and it all looked very cheap and tacky. There is also a neon light outside, advertising the cinemas name although as it was the daytime, this was not turned on (thankfully).
Just like the outside of the cinema, the interior of the entrance is extremely dated. The ticket office is tiny, with someone working behind it also tending to the food counter. The food counter sells a range of drinks and snacks although most of this come pre-packaged. The cinema does serve fresh popcorn but nothing like bigger cinemas e.g. hot dogs or nachos etc. The food choices are very limited and while you aren't supposed to, I would recommend sneaking your own snacks in, which is what we did. The food and drinks are overpriced, just like any other cinema but here, there is very little choice to make it worth buying.
The Cromer Regal Movieplex has a total of 4 screens. However, there is a range of the newest films showing so it isn't as bad as it sounds. Currently, there are 9 different films showing but obviously there aren't enough screens to show all of them all of the time. The films are rotated around different screens so that everything plays a couple of times a day. When you buy your tickets at the office, you will be asked where you would like to sit. As the screens are small, there is limited seating as well so you are allocated seats. This is something I hate about cinemas so I was instantly unimpressed. There were only about 6 or 7 people in our screening of Dark Shadows but a staff member kept coming in the theatre and showed us to our seats and we were unable to move. I do understand that this is a good idea for when it is really busy but the theatre was practically empty.
Only screens 1 and 4 have wheelchair access which I think is not very good at all. The other screens are up a couple of flights of stairs and without an elevator, they are very inaccessible. I think it's pretty bad that anyone in a wheelchair will be forced to see films in particular screens and therefore, not really given an option at all. Even though this is a small cinema, I do this accessibility is a big thing and should have more thought put into how this aspect of the cinema is run.
However, for a place as small as Cromer, I was quite impressed there was a cinema at all. It's nice to think that you don't have to go all the way to Norwich to see the latest films, even if the space being used isn't reaching its full potential.
Adults (15 & over) £6.00
Adults (15 & over) with Movie Magic Card £4.00
Children (14 & under) & Senior Citizens £4.50
Children (14 & under) & Senior Citizens with Movie Magic Card £3.00
Super Saver Shows marked with * £4.50
Monday Shows: for everyone, all performances all day!
(From what I understand, the Movie Magic Card is just a discount card although as I don't live there or use this cinema often, I'm not sure how much it costs)