Over-marketing to make up for substance

The start of a new year hails the beginning of an annual bad movie season. Movies that open in the early months are rarely the flicks they appear to be. Vantage Point is the perfect example of these missing-the-mark movies.

The sure sign of a bad movie is one that only appears to be "all right" from its trailers, yet is advertised as if it was the biggest movie of the year. Vantage Point feels like it’s been crammed down our throats before every movie, during every commercial break and on every Web site we’ve clicked onto for six months – and that’s because it has.

If you’ve seen the trailer – and the only way you haven’t is if The College Times is your only form of media – you know what Vantage Point is about: the President gets shot. Bunches of people see it. Now you must see all of their points of view to piece together what happened. If you know that, you know everything.

Vantage Point replays for you the same 23 minutes six times in a row through six different points of view. After the second or third time, people in the audience will groan with the dissatisfaction and frustration of someone who’s just bought a new CD for one song, but the disc keeps replaying the same 23 seconds over and over again. Finally, 70 minutes into the movie, you get to see things tying together in a supposed surprise ending that only became too evident as you got to that point.

You’re now thinking, "It can’t be that bad; it has a great cast." Truth be told, not Dennis Quaid (not the screw-up of the two Quaid brothers), Matthew Fox (Lost), William Hurt (The Village), Sigourney Weaver (Alien) nor Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) can save this movie. It’s doomed.

Vantage Point is going to drive you nuts. Instead of being told as a narrative, you feel like you’re watching the climax to a movie over and over and over and over and over and over again. Had the same twists and turns been applied to a regular suspense thriller instead of a concept driven plot-less script, it would’ve been great, but unnecessary creativity killed it. The best vantage point for your next theater-going event is in another theater.

Leave a Reply