Point Blank (À bout portant)

The Boy and I love suspense/thrillers. Hitchcock fans to the bitter end. And, let’s face it: If a movie is a thriller, the one thing you know is that it’s not going to be boring. Right? Except, of course, when it’s mis-labeled melodrama. Which it often is. Especially if it’s a foreign film. Especially French.

But the French can make some good potboilers and, happy to say, this movie, Point Blank, is one of them. It’s a simple (Hitchcockian) premise: A nurse on duty (male nurse, it’s France, remember) saves a man from an assassination attempt, and ends up being a pawn in a game of dirty cops and robbers.

The action is breakneck. The twists are twisty but not overblown. We get some character development as our hero Sam (Gilles Lelouche) must transform from a mild-mannered good guy nurse into a something a little grittier. This actually is worth a pause: He doesn’t become, Police Academy-style, a complete caricature of an action hero. He barely qualifies at all, really: He just gets more desperate and it’s more like we see the quality of his character (showcased early on in a normal situation, that’s foreshadowing, people)  proven over the course of the adventure.

And it doesn’t really let up till the end, which involves a chaotic brawl inside a police station.


A couple of points right at the end made me wonder if they were going to get all dark and French and stuff, but they avoided that for a nice climax and satisfying denouement.

Good stuff. Not weighty or serious, but the fast, fun, quick movies (this clocks in at 84 minutes, including credits) aren’t as easy to do as people think, clearly.

The Boy and I liked it. The Boy even mentioned it a couple days later as being good. And he hates the French.

Leave a Reply