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'Point Blank': Kenneth Turan's film pick of the week

August 4, 2011 |  8:30 am

Point Blank

"Point Blank" will leave you breathless. Unfolding at a blistering clip from its slam bang opening through its bravura close, this tip-top French thriller grips you at frame one and doesn't let go.

Its story of an ordinary man facing extraordinary peril doesn't go anywhere we haven't gone before, but the pleasure of seeing material presented with such crisp élan is an intense one.

Director Fred Cavaye is a former fashion photographer with an intuitive understanding of the dynamics of action and tension and a parallel gift for making things really move on screen. Friends advised him that "to make a film that is always going fast is not possible," but that is just what he's attempted here.

Because Cavaye doesn't believe in scripts that contain a lot of dialogue, much of the intense drama of this situation has to be conveyed via the presence of the actors involved, and both everyman in trouble Gilles Lellouche and the charismatic Roschdy Zem do this without breathing hard.

Likely to be remade, "Point Blank" stands as an energetic rebuke to a sclerotic Hollywood system that can't seem to create them like this anymore. If you're always complaining there's nothing worth seeing, you owe this one to yourself.

The film is playing at Laemmle's Monica, Santa Monica; Laemmle's Sunset 5, West Hollywood; Laemmle's Playhouse 7, Pasadena; Regal Westpark, Irvine.


Movie review: 'Point Blank'

'Point Blank' translating well in Hollywood

More from Kenneth Turan on 24 Frames

-- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic

Photo: Roschdy Zem in a scene from "Point Blank." Credit: Magnolia Pictures

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