Instead of the flashback, Vantage Point actually rewinds an event, then rolls it forward from a different point of view of participants. A challenging device for having any continuity but one in which direction prevails with graphic context. Director Pete Travis and writer Barry Levy afford the viewer a surprising coherence but also a privileged insight into both characters of the roles played and machinations of those perpetrating a most insidious and devious of plots.
The audience is treated to the full spectrum of action in how a complicated plan is carried out with brutal resolve. Only to see the media treatment to the event itself reduced to simpleton affair for a public far too ready for pap instead of discomforting truth. Before this film is over a viewer cannot help but reflect back on similar events that may have happened in his lifetime, wondering how close to reality were their media treatments. Indeed.
Dennis Quaid, as a decorated secret service agent, Thomas Barnes, gives an accomplished performance. Uneasy about a traumatic episode he’s already faced in the line of duty, his is a complex role he serves as matter-of-fact as if he were under paramilitary command. Forest Whitaker is a very good casting choice for, Howard Lewis, a by-stander with camcorder, touring Spain as a distraction from family problems, innocently caught up in both the close details of intrigue and urgency his heroic nature will not shirk.
The best performance, however, is given by the lovely Ayelet Zurer, one of the ruthless plotters, she must embody many faces and attitudes in order to pull off her assignments for the plot to succeed and yet retain any vestige of humanity. But she and her boss, Suarez (well played by Said Taghmaoui) both do, as the plot thickens and then nears its end.
The always interesting and lovely Sigourney Weaver is surprisingly in a supporting role as an on-location camera crew coordinator. And convincing, as always. William Hurt as President Ashton, is as well convincing and gives his role added depth.
Action is first rate with a chase sequence just as riveting as any action hero’s, perhaps because it’s more believable. The way all these “rewinds” thread together gives faceted perspective that enhances the effect dramatically.
First class, intense but youth friendly, no nudity and language permissible (under the circumstances.) Highly recommended.