PUBLISHED: 15:04 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 17:10 16 August 2010
VANTAGE POINT Cert 12A DURING an antiterrorism summit in Spain the President of the USA (William Hurt) is gunned down by a sniper.
DURING an antiterrorism summit in Spain the President of the USA (William Hurt) is gunned down by a sniper.
The incident is replayed several times from different people's points of view a la Rashomon, adding a new piece to the puzzle each time.
First off is a US news studio and the journalists who are covering the event. Much of the time is devoted to a drawn out argument between the director (Sigourney Weaver) and the reporter (Zoe Saldana) who wants to cover what she sees as the more serious political content of the event.
Then the shooting happens and the film rewinds back to follow the goings-on of a pair of Secret Service agents Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid), who recently took a bullet intended for the President, and Kent Taylor (Matthew Fox). The President then gets shot and the two try to figure out what happened.
Again the story goes back to the start, this time with an American tourist (Forest Whitaker), who captures the incident on his camcorder.
And so on.
First-time director Pete Travis tries his best to keep things interesting and there's even a pretty exciting car chase thrown in, but nothing he does can save the film from being a tepid, run-of-the-mill potboiler.
The cast of big names do a good enough job with the script, Whitaker is especially noteworthy as the normal guy who finds himself thrust into the midst of all the chaos, but the gimmick the film is based around just comes off as repetitive and irritating.
* Vantage Point opens in cinemas on Friday.