How do we begin?The President is shot, Secret Service agents chase down a "shooter", unconnected characters intersect in increasingly meaningless ways. Oh and did I mention the GROUNDHOG DAY-esqe time rewind? Audible audience laughter is not what you expect to hear in a thriller. When a film with such a reasonable premise is butchered and ultimately ends up dying an ignoble death, my first question was where was the strong hand of the director? Or the screenwriter? This film stinks of heavy handed hacking after test audience screening. It must hurt to lose control of your film.
I was teased by what appears on paper to be a stellar cast-William Hurt, Dennis Quaid, Sigourney Weaver, Forest Whitaker, Hollywood's favourite LOST boy-Matthew Fox. I can only hint at the angry disappointment I felt after the credits rolled. All of these actors have performed admirably in similar roles--here they are groundless, and the prestige they could have brought to the film is squandered.
Sigourney Weaver brings some pathos, only to be cast aside when her story plot is terminated. Dennis Quaid tries his best as the Secret Service agent trying to quell his demons, but he's not Clint Eastwood, and this is not IN THE LINE OF FIRE. William Hurt can be Presidential in his sleep, give him some depth please. Matthew Fox has no reason speaking bad Spanish when his co-pilot is speaking perfect English, Forest Whitaker does his best mumbly, stumbly, heavy faced bit, but his part in the story is simply meaningless, I'm happy he gets to reconcile with his wife and son, but please people, The President has been shot, blown up, kidnapped, drugged and tossed around an ambulance in a multi-car pile up....so is it ESSENTIAL to waste a final shot on Forest talking on a cell phone to his unseen son??...Someone must have some minutes to use up.
Ultimately VANTAGE POINT is half the film it could have been, it lacks sufficient character motivation or back story, the characters are caricatures, the script is diluted to the point of meaningless and while it sports a great climatic car chase, the final scene is as implausible as they come-----a highly trained band of ruthless conspirators, toting the latest in high tech gadgetry, killing co-conspirators as they see fit, assisted by an inside man, successfully pull off TWO intricate operations and on the road to getting away scot-free, only to be undone because an irrelevant character JAYWALKS!
Come on, we are smarter than that and as film makers you should be smart enough to know that.