Movie Review: Vantage Point

To make up for The Hobbit, my family decided to watch another movie. We eventually settled on a movie my parents had seen a few years ago, Pete Travis’s Vantage Point. The tagline for the movie was “8 Strangers. 8 Points of View. 1 Truth.”

Well, you know I’m a sucker for this kind of thing. Time manipulation? Multiple versions of the same story? Heck yes. Vantage Point is the story of a terrorist attack, but told from six different points of view1, one after another. Each time the story resets, the scene runs a little longer, and we learn a little more about what’s really going on.

The movie’s only ninety minutes long, and admittedly the last thirty or so are mostly just an extended chase scene, even if we do get some of the missing answers. There’s not too much to say about it; the point of the movie is the twist. According to Wikipedia, critics panned the movie for this: take away the conceit and it’s just a single action sequence from a longer movie. My personal opinion is that they could have actually replaced much of the final chase scene with another reset/reveal—up until then the movie kept adding new information to what really happened, but once we hit the long car chase it became clear that we were basically done. And IMHO, most of the plotlines actually ended fairly abruptly and blandly.

But I definitely enjoyed the movie, and each expansion of the world being shown. It made me think of Memento and “In a Grove”2, though it’s not the same as either of them. And again, it’s only 90 minutes, so it’s not a huge investment. If you enjoy movies with a storytelling conceit and don’t mind an action theme, Vantage Point is worth watching.

  1. Six? Well, some of the eight people share a “vantage point”, and a couple of the threads of the story overlap. ↩︎

  2. “In a Grove” is the Akutagawa story that inspired Kurosawa’s Rashomon, which I haven’t seen yet. ↩︎