Point Blank - Review

Point Blank reunites Captain America: The Winter Solider stars Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo for a fun (albeit predictable) action romp. The Netflix original is a story about the lengths people will go for their families and that there is a lot of gray area in being "good" or "bad".

Joe Lynch directed Point Blank which starts out simple enough. If it stayed on the tracks that the simple premise presented, it still would have been an entertaining adventure. But an added layer to the story allowed for some fun and exciting possibilities, and deeper character development between the two leads.

Coming in at a brisk 86 minutes, the film moves at a rapid pace. It hits the ground running, and by the 13 minute mark we are full steam ahead. A film that short leaves some interesting things on the table, but that is better than overstaying their welcome and having a film that takes too long to get to the point.

The music and the camera work are a lot of fun. There are some creative shots from Lynch, and the music choices work perfectly for the context of what is going in the particular scene. In fact, some might find it too on the nose, but it worked well for the vibe Point Blank was giving off.

Mackie was solid as a male nurse who gets put in an unfortunate situation and has to protect his family. Grillo is even better, showing nuance and depth that the Marvel Cinematic Universe never let him. Due to Mackie's charm, you automatically start rooting for him, but Grillo grows on you. Eventually you want both of them to come out on top.

While there were depth to the characters, they still fit a certain archetype. The low key male nurse expecting a baby, and the so called "criminal" who is really a halfway decent guy. If Mackie and Grillo switched roles, the beats of the movie would be nearly identical.

The always solid Marcia Gay Harden was impressive, as per the usual. Her range as an actor never ceases to amaze me. She was pretty great in this, and pulled off what was asked of her with style and grace.

The twists and turns were pretty predictable, but that doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the film. Lynch and co. tried to subvert expectations, but the best way to do that would have been to not subvert expectations, as everyone expects a movie to do so now.

The action scenes have the perfect amount of adrenaline and suspense. They don't change the genre like a Mission: Impossible film does, but it gets the job done. For a film with such a grave premise, it has its fair share of humor too, even if most of that is just Mackie and Grillo yelling at each other. 

The film comes to a satisfying conclusion on nearly every front, though it would be nice to see a bit more immediate fallout than we did. But again, if they overstayed their welcome, things would be worse, so its better they got out quickly.

Point Blank scratches the surface of what could be a really deep conspiracy thriller. It is a shame to see it squander that opportunity. But perhaps the title put it on front street all along: The story is presented to us at point blank range.

Overall, watching Point Blank isn't an awful way to spend an hour and a half. You will surely be entertained. It is predictable, entertaining fun, and there's nothing wrong with that. But it is sad to see a few opportunities that the table was set for squandered in order to make a crisp, streamlined action movie. The twist they do present is a good one though, so at least it has that.

Point Blank is now streaming, exclusively on Netflix.


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