I like films with flashbacks and flash forwards, especially if they’re done as smartly as the Quentin Tarantino films. I just ask that the flashbacks don’t become a tiresome device that’s utilized just to move a lumbering plot along. “Vantage Point,” which admittedly is a nonstop thrill ride, is guilty of using tiresome flashbacks for that reason.
“Vantage Point’s” premise replays the assassination of president of the United States (William Hurt) by terrorists during the middle of a landmark coalition conference between the leaders from five continents in the middle of a town square located in Salamanca, Spain.
The assassination is replayed through the eyes of a Secret Service agent (Dennis Quaid), a Spanish cop (Spanish actor Eduardo Noriega), a tough network producer (Sigourney Weaver), and an American tourist (Forest Whitaker), who photographs the entire event with his camcorder. The entire movie hangs on the shtick that the film rewinds 23 minutes every time the audience gets a new clue through the eyes of a new character.
The film is suppose to offer eight view points of the presidential assassination, but I lost track after three or four déjà vu flashbacks began numbing my brain’s syntax. “Vantage Point” would have been a better film if it stuck to the traditional method of straight story telling instead of relying on lame rewinds. Here’s the bottom line: The U.S. President has been assassinated in front of millions of people, but have the terrorists really accomplished their goal?
“Vantage Point” is a heart-pounding and breathtaking flick that needs to drop the rewind shtick.