VANTAGE POINT Directed by Pete Travis. 88 minutes. Opens Friday (February 21). Rating: NN
The idea behind Vantage Point is pretty cool: A global anti-terrorism summit in Spain explodes into chaos after an assassination attempt on the President of the United States, with the film rolling back to follow the action from a number of different viewpoints.
But after the third or fourth iteration – most of which end at cliffhanger moments straight out of 24, with the President cowering before an assassin or a little girl standing in the middle of a freeway – it becomes evident that Barry Levy’s script doesn’t have anything to offer beyond its gimmick, and that director Pete Travis doesn’t have the slightest idea how to communicate information or stage an effective action sequence.
By the time all the plot threads converge in a frenzied muddle – with William Hurt, Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, Said Taghmaoui and Jack from Lost all running around at cross purposes while the camera cuts between them – you’ll have long since given up on this narratively, aesthetically and ideologically incoherent mess.