Vantage Point theatrical poster
|Written by||Barry L. Levy|
|Directed by||Pete Travis|
|Produced by||Neal H. Moritz|
|Music by||Atli Örvarsson|
|Cinematography by||Amir Mokri|
|Editing by||Stuart Baird|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release Date||February 22, 2008|
|Run time||90 min.|
Vantage Point is a 2008 American political action thriller film directed by Pete Travis; it was adapted from a screenplay written by Barry L. Levy. The story focuses on an assassination attempt on the President of the United States, as seen from the various vantage points of different characters. Vantage Point also explores kidnapping, assassination and terrorism. The film score was composed by musician Atli Örvarsson.
Vantage Point is technically considered a Die Hard scenario film. It meets all the qualifications, yet it is far from being the standard Die Hard clone. It's different in many ways, the main reason being the storyline.
U.S. President Henry Ashton attends a political summit in Salamanca, Spain to promote an international treaty. Displayed with eight differing viewpoints, an assassination attempt on the president occurs, relayed in a time span of 23 minutes. Each time the events unfold from the beginning, a new vantage point is shown revealing additional details, which ultimately completes the story of what actually took place during the incident.
From the first vantage point, GNN producer Rex Brooks, directs various media personnel from a mobile television studio as the president arrives at the gathering. Mayor De Soto delivers a short speech and then introduces the president, who is shot twice in the chest with an automated Heckler & Koch PSG-1 sniper rifle, killing him. An explosion outside the plaza soon follows. Moments later, the podium itself is destroyed by a secondary explosion, killing and injuring numerous people. As the smoke clears, GNN reporter Angie Jones is seen lying dead in the rubble. The second vantage point follows Secret Service agents Thomas Barnes and Kent Taylor. Barnes notices a curtain fluttering in the window of a nearby building that was allegedly vacated. He also observes American tourist Howard Lewis filming the audience. After the president is shot, Barnes tackles a man rushing to the podium named Enrique. Taylor pursues a lead to a potential assassin. Following the second explosion, Barnes barges into the GNN production studio and asks to view their footage. He calls Taylor, who reports the direction of the suspected assassin's escape route. Barnes then views an image on one of the camera's live feeds that startles him and prompts him to run out.
In the third vantage point, Enrique, who claims to be a Spanish police officer assigned to protecting the mayor of Salamanca, sees his girlfriend Veronica, being embraced by a stranger and overhears them speaking about meeting under an overpass. When he confronts her, Veronica assures Enrique of her love for him as he hands her a bag. When the president is shot, Enrique rushes onto the stage to protect the mayor, but is tackled by Barnes. While being detained, he witnesses Veronica toss the bag he gave her under the podium, causing the second explosion. Enrique escapes as the agents who previously had him in custody, mount a chase while firing shots in his direction, failing to subdue him. Enrique confronts an unseen individual at the overpass and asks if he is surprised to see him still alive. The fourth vantage point revolves around Howard Lewis who is chatting with a man called Sam, while a little girl named Anna, bumps into him and drops her ice cream. Later, Lewis notices Barnes looking at the curtain fluttering in the window of a nearby building, and captures the footage with his camcorder. Following the second explosion at the podium, Lewis chases Enrique and the pursuing Secret Service agents. At the overpass, Lewis views the pair of agents from afar shooting in the direction of Enrique as he greets an individual in a police uniform under the overpass. Seriously wounded, Enrique falls to the ground. Lewis sees Anna who had earlier become separated from her mother, trying to cross a busy intersection. An ambulance races down the road about to hit Anna, as Lewis runs out to save her.
The fifth vantage point begins as President Ashton, having been informed of a credible assassination threat, has returned to his hotel room with his aides while his body double proceeds to the gathering in the plaza. The first explosion, which occurs just outside the hotel, is revealed to be a device detonated by a suicide bomber disguised as a bellhop. Seconds later, a masked assailant bursts into the president's room, shoots his advisers and then proceeds in abducting Ashton. By the sixth vantage point, terrorist Suarez, previously seen as Sam; shoots Ashton's body double using a remote-controlled automatic rifle placed in an adjacent window next to the one with the fluttering curtain that had drawn Barnes' attention earlier. The rifle is retrieved by Taylor, who Barnes sees leaving the scene wearing a Spanish policeman's uniform on one of the GNN live feeds, even though he tells Barnes that he's in pursuit of the assassin over the phone. Barnes realizes Taylor is actually part of the terror plot. The man Enrique saw embracing Veronica is revealed to be sharpshooter Javier, whose brother is being held hostage to ensure Javier's cooperation with the terrorists. Javier kills the guards and aides within the hotel, and kidnaps the president. Ashton is later placed in an ambulance with Suarez and Veronica disguised as medics. Javier joins Taylor in a police car to a planned rendezvous at the overpass. Barnes commandeers a car and chases Taylor and Javier. Barnes however, gets into a collision with a truck, allowing the duo to escape. At the overpass, Enrique, who did not die in the blast at the podium as intended, confronts Javier and Taylor. Enraged, Javier shoots Enrique, mistakenly believing he had knowledge of his kidnapped brother's whereabouts. Javier is then shot and killed by Taylor when he demands to be brought to his brother, who had been killed earlier by Suarez. Enrique dies of his wounds as Barnes reaches the scene on foot firing several rounds at Taylor, who attempts to flee. After crashing his car, a critically injured Taylor is dragged out by Barnes. He orders Taylor to reveal where the president has been taken, but Taylor dies. Meanwhile, Ashton regains consciousness in the ambulance and attacks Veronica, distracting her and Suarez just as Anna runs into their path. Suarez swerves causing the ambulance to flip over just as Lewis pulls Anna out of its way. Barnes runs to the ambulance where he sees Veronica lying dead. He shoots Suarez dead and rescues the president.
Cast & charactersEdit
- Dennis Quaid as Agent Thomas Barnes
- Richard T. Jones as Agent Holden
- Bruce McGill as Agent Phil McCullough
- Holt McCallany as Agent Ron Matthews
- Sean O'Bryan as Cavic
- Matthew Fox as Agent Kent Taylor
- Saïd Taghmaoui as Suarez
- Édgar Ramirez as Javier
- Avelet Zurer as Veronica
- Rodrigo Cachero as Luis
- Sigourney Weaver as Rex Brooks
- Zoe Saldana as Angie Jones
- Leonardo Nam as Kevin Cross
- Shelby Fenner as Grace Riggs
The film is often compared, unfavorably, to Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon, which also employed storytelling through multiple perspectives. Rashomon used the multiple perspectives to question the possibility of "truth", in a process called the Rashomon effect; in contrast, Vantage Point recounts a series of events which are re-enacted from several different perspectives and viewpoints in order to reveal a "truthful" account of what happened. Vantage Point has a 55% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Following its premiere on February 22, 2008, Vantage Point grossed $72,266,306 in domestic ticket receipts. The film was screened at 3,163 theaters during its widest release nationwide in the United States. It earned an additional $78,895,185 in business through international release to top out at a combined $151,161,491 in gross revenue. The film was technically considered a strong financial success due to its $40 million budget costs. Preceding its theatrical run though, the film was met with generally mixed to negative critical reviews. The widescreen DVD and high-definition Blu-ray Disc editions of the film featuring the director's audio commentary and interviews with the cast and crew, were both released in the United States on July 8, 2008.