Point Blank (À Bout Portant) - Blu-ray Review

'indifference pervades, although only for eighty-four minutes'

With a welcome runtime of just eighty-four minutes, Point Blank does test the idea that you can tell a coherent and original, one-off, story in under an hour and a half. Indeed, Fred Cavayé's film seems to suggest that to do so you have to sacrifice one or the other; originality and coherence together take too much time.

And so, it is originality that goes out of the window. In order to establish coherence, characters assume the mantras of generic archetypes, long since explored to death in thrillers over the years. Gilles Lellouche is the character out of his depth. Roschdy Zem is the good bad guy. Gérard Lanvin is the bad good guy. The former looks wide-eyed, the middle one looks tough but fair, the latter couldn't look any more evil if he suddenly sprouted devil horns. The character progression of everyone involved has a grand total of one surprise and even that isn't that shocking.

The result is another entry in the 'I/she/we didn't do anything' sub-genre, which, although perfectly passable, has nothing new to offer. Director Cavayé has moved in this area before with the superior Anything for Her and Point Blank bears the mark of a film written by a man who has taken one idea as far as it will go. Fellow French effort Tell No One remains the sub-genre high-mark, Point Blank never getting near to the depth of characterisation or plot to hold a candle to it.

The lead turn from Lellouche is good enough to latch on to and he seems an actor that could attempt pretty much anything (here he's a good nurse, but he could just as easily slip into the shoes of a bad hoodlum). The Skin I Live In's Elena Anaya is sorely under-used and Lanvin's imposing policeman could have given the film more threat with increased screen time. Indifference pervades, although only for eighty-four minutes.

Look further...

'Whilst the story is standard, the film is greatly improved by the directors exceptional eye for details' - Front Row Reviews, 4/5

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