Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Marcia Gay Harden, Christian Cooke, Teyonah Parris
Netflix July 12
The bullets are already flying by the time the thief Abe (Frank Grillo) carries guns in the first shot. Point blank, jumping from the balcony of a mansion to the variety of the unconditional Black Flag anthem "Rise Above". Swap shots with a couple of thugs in ski masks, run, bleeding, through the rich-looking neighborhood, downhill to the intersection you're going to meet with Brother-Bar-Driver Matthew (Christian Cooke). And it's almost within sight of the getaway car when a sedan crosses the intersection and sends Abe flying 10 feet to a thunk on the asphalt. Unfortunately, this scene of abortive opening action is as punk as Point blank get, unless, that is, one considers establishing a persecution thriller in Cincinnati as a punk gesture.
In the hospital, the gears of the plot are grinding. Abe, still unconscious, is the prime suspect in the murder of the assistant district attorney, and the police have already found him. After a failed attempt to get his brother out, Matthew hatches a cockamamie plan. He follows Abe's nurse, Paul (Anthony Mackie), knocks him out and kidnaps Taryn (Teyonah Parris), Paul's wife who is nine months pregnant. All Paul has to do is get Abe out of the hospital and give him to his brother and he will let her go. But as is usually the case, there are complications. Abe, now awake and full of painkillers, is in possession of one of those USB devices full of incriminating evidence that has become the predetermined MacGuffins of our era. He has dirty cops behind him, and there's a drug lord out there who wants his head.
A remake of the French thriller of the same title of 2010 (already recast once before, in South Korea, as The objective) Point blank It mostly runs on the fumes of its chase movie formula. (Needless to say, none of these films is related in any way to the modernist neo-noir of 1967 by John Boorman. Point blank.) Director Joe Lynch (Everly, Knights of badassdom) seems to have the impression that he is delving into the expectations of the viewer, but for the most part, we recognize the clichés. We know that Abe and Mateo are not really bad (apart from kidnapping), just as we can spot the real villain a mile away. While the French Point blank got mileage out of his polished urban excitement and The objective opted for the bombing, the downmarket Americanization of Lynch mostly points to the humor of school and film. It extends from jokes about a piñata shaped like a cannabis leaf and a movie obsessed gangster called Big D to the soundtrack, a playlist of the 80s dance party with tracks like Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Oran "Juice "Jones, and Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five. Even for someone with fond memories of the days when all the promising filmmakers wanted to be Quentin Tarantino (or, worse, Guy Ritchie), things fit together.
What leaves the relationship between Mackie, a presence with reliable sympathy, and Grillo, a classic hard-boiled actor with a hoarse voice at a time when the transcendent roles of film B seem to be scarce. Like the thriller of 2017. Helmsman, Point blank was produced for Netflix by the production company of Grillo and Joe Carnahan, WarParty Films. (Logo: a cannon that shoots a disco ball). But despite the fact that the two films share similarities on the surface (both are pursuit thrillers that reach less than 90 minutes and star Grillo as a scam in a robbery that went wrong). Point blank it is very far of HelmsmanThe minimalism and the tricks of the genre. Unlike that very literal star vehicle, which mostly took place inside a car driven by the nameless character of Grillo, it feels unique to all, that is, it is not specially designed for any of its stars. It simply hangs on them, becoming more and more shattered as it goes.