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"VANTAGE POINT"
(2008) (Dennis Quaid, Forrest Whitaker) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*None Heavy Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Mild Extreme None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None Moderate Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense/Thriller: Told from the various perspectives of those present, an attempt is made to assassinate the President of the United States during an anti-terrorism summit.
PLOT:
Rex Brooks (SIGOURNEY WEAVER) is a TV director for Global Network News, a channel providing coverage of a world anti-terrorism summit being held in Salamanca, Spain. With reporter Angie Jones (ZOE SALDANA) reporting live from the event that's taking place at an outdoor plaza, Rex wants to make sure they have all of the story's angles covered.

The same holds true for Secret Service agents such as Kent Taylor (MATTHEW FOX) who needs to make sure no harm will come to U.S. President Ashton (WILLIAM HURT), one of the key summit speakers, who must decide whether to follow the hawkish advice from one of his top advisors, Phil McCullough (BRUCE McGILL).

The one wild card in play is Secret Service agent Thomas Barnes (DENNIS QUAID) who hasn't been quite right since taking a bullet for Ashton in the past, but is returning to active duty with this assignment. Nervously scanning the crowd and surroundings for anything out of the ordinary, Thomas watches American tourist Howard Lewis (FORREST WHITAKER) who's videotaping the event, but seems most interested in where the agent is looking.

Then the unthinkable occurs. Ashton is shot twice, followed by chaos and then a huge explosion in the plaza. And then the film rewinds to show the events leading up to the assassination attempt as seen through the eyes of various people there, including Thomas, Howard, local cop Enrique (EDUARDO NORIEGA), former special forces operative Javier (EDGAR RAMIREZ), and terrorists Suarez (SAID TAGHMAOUI) and Veronica (AYELET ZURER).

As the event unfolds again and again, we see Thomas and others trying to figure out who's responsible and attempting to capture them.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those who are into political thrillers and/or are fans of anyone in the cast might be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images and brief strong language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DENNIS QUAID plays a Secret Service agent who returns to active duty following having previously taken a bullet to save the President's life. A bit edgy, he cautiously watches the crowd at the summit, and must then deal with the aftermath of the attack, including trying to find and capture those responsible. He uses profanity.
  • WILLIAM HURT plays the President of the United States who must deal with an assassination plot directed at him.
  • FORREST WHITAKER plays an American tourist who just so happens to be visiting Spain when the attack occurs. He captures vital evidence on his video camera, tries to help Thomas, and assists a young local girl who becomes separated from her mother following the attack.
  • SAID TAGHMAOUI plays the mastermind behind the assassination and kidnapping attempts involving the President of the United States. Accordingly, he's directly and indirectly responsible for many deaths.
  • EDUARDO NORIEGA plays a local cop who works for the mayor, but is more involved in the attack than initially believed.
  • EDGAR RAMIREZ plays a former special forces member who's blackmailed into carrying out the terrorists' plan in exchange for his kidnapped brother's life. Accordingly, he kills various people while helping kidnap the President.
  • MATTHEW FOX plays a secret service agent working with Thomas, but -- SPOILER ALERT -- turns out to be conspiring with the bad guys, and thus kills some of his own men in the process. He uses profanity.
  • SIGOURNEY WEAVER plays a TV director covering the summit who must contend with the assassination. She uses profanity.
  • AYELET ZURER plays one of the brutal and lethal accomplices in on the plan.
  • BRUCE McGILL plays one of the President's top advisors who urges him to make a counter strike on a terrorist camp in a friendly Arab country.
  • ZOE SALDANA plays a TV reporter covering the summit who wants to interject her own political feelings about the event, but then finds herself caught in the chaos of the assassination attempt.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this political thriller that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. A man is briefly seen shirtless, while some cleavage is also present.

    Violence consists of an assassination attempt and subsequent bombing (seen several times from different angles), resulting in people being wounded and killed, with bloody results. Other deadly violence (also with bloody results) is present, and those responsible have bad attitudes. Those scenes and moments of potential peril could be unsettling and/or suspenseful, particularly to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.

    Some of the action and stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate, while some tense family material is also present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there is a lot of camera movement (including varying degrees of handheld footage, some of it quite bouncy) in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None, but Thomas takes some sort of unknown prescription pill (related to a past wounding via gunshot).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A dead TV reporter has blood on her face, neck and clothing following an explosion.
  • Thomas is bloody following the explosion, as are the wounded and dead around him on the ground.
  • We see bloody people again after the massive explosion, including Enrique who has some bloody scrapes on his face.
  • Howard is a little bloody following the massive explosion.
  • A woman who's been shot has blood on her shirt.
  • A bound and captive man is somewhat bloody.
  • Javier has some blood on his hand from where he touched a wound on his side (through his shirt).
  • A man is very bloody following a bad car accident.
  • A woman is dead and bloody following an ambulance crash.
  • President Ashton is bruised and has a little blood on his collar.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • All of the villains obviously have bad attitudes.
  • Other agents briefly gossip about Thomas and his mental state, but stop when he shows up.
  • A Secret Service agent turns out to be working with the bad guys and thus kills some of his own men dead.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • We see TV news footage as President Ashton is hit by two bullets while standing at a summit podium, downing him (but with no blood). Following that, Enrique rushes onto the platform, with Thomas tackling and subduing him. That's followed by the sound of a distant explosion, and then a massive one on the platform at the front of a building. Many are killed, and the knocked over camera shows a static view of a dead and somewhat bloody TV reporter.
  • Despite or perhaps because of knowing what's going to transpire in each rewind sequence, the moments leading up to the above attack might be unsettling or suspenseful for some viewers.
  • We see President Ashton shot again, with Thomas then tackling Enrique. After being subdued, and using a distant explosion to his advantage, he then elbows a Secret Service agent to get away, followed once again by the massive explosion. Enrique flees, pursued by an agent who fires shots into the air as a warning, as well as at the suspect. During the chase, a car strikes Enrique, but he continues running, trying to elude the agents. He ends up going into a building and then jumping down from the balcony (landing hard on the street below) before fleeing again.
  • We see Veronica throw a bag onto the platform (which turns out to be the bomb).
  • Howard sees a young girl (that he earlier helped after she became separated from her mother following the explosion) walk out into heavy traffic, and he rushes to save her, but our view of that sequence ends there for the time being.
  • Javier makes his way toward the Presidential hotel suite, gun in hand, and tries to avoid detection by agents moving about. When he gets close, he starts his killing spree, shooting many agents in his path (during this, we see President Ashton being shot again out in the plaza). Veronica nearly shoots Javier's brother who pleads (while gagged) for his life, but it's Suarez who shoots him dead instead. We then see Javier shoot another person, this time in a stairwell, and grabs and stabs two men to death (separately, and we don't see the actual impact or any blood). He then shoots several more, plants a small bomb, and then shoots more agents following the small explosion.
  • We see a bellhop donning a belt of explosives.
  • Javier aims his gun at the unconscious President, threatening to shoot him if Veronica doesn't release Javier's brother. When that doesn't work, he aims his gun at her, but that doesn't persuade her either.
  • Thomas pursues a turncoat agent in a car chase where another vehicle t-bones Thomas' car, but the latter is still functional enough to continue the chase. That includes going the wrong direction down a one-way street, as well as the bad agent driving down a sidewalk and running over tables and chairs, while Thomas crashes into some parked cars (while other cars crash into each other as a result of the chase). From the passenger seat, Javier holds his gun on the bad agent who's driving (wanting him to free his brother), but then leans out the window and opens fire on Thomas, hitting the latter's car several times. A large truck then accidentally hits Thomas' car, smashing it and him against a wall (we presume he's dead, but he gets out and continues the chase on foot).
  • President Ashton hits Veronica with a pole from the back of an ambulance. The two then struggle, with Veronica shooting him in the leg, but Suarez then swerves to avoid hitting a young girl in the street (with Howard scooping her up and out of the way just in time). Their ambulance then overturns and crashes on its side.
  • Suarez nearly shoots President Ashton, but Thomas shoots the terrorist dead.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns & Automatic weapons/Rifles/Explosives/Knife or similar object: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound, or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Why the f*ck did you do this?" "I don't give a sh*t about," "Don't give me this bullsh*t," "What the hell /was that/were you doing up there?" "It's like training a freaking dog," "Get off it," "Freak out," "Answer the G*ddamn question," "Pissing in the wind," "Are you out of your mind?" "Get him off my ass" (said during a car chase), "Go to hell," "G*ddamn you" and "You son of a bitch."
  • All of the action and other stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The sound of sudden gunfire might startle some viewers, as might a sudden, massive explosion.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 14 "s" words, 5 hells, 4 damns, 2 S.O.B.s, 1 ass, 10 uses of "Oh my God," 3 each of "Christ" and "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Jesus," "Jesus Christ" and "My God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Thomas shirtless while getting ready for work, and spot a small, bullet hole scar on his back.
  • Having seen Veronica in public with another man, Enrique is jealous and/or mad, stating she has a glow about her (possibly meant sexually, having just been with that man).
  • We see some miscellaneous cleavage.
  • A woman shows some cleavage.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Howard tells another man that he's going through a bad patch with his wife, who's back home in the U.S. with their kids.
  • A young girl is separated from her mother following the massive explosion.
  • We see cell phone video of a bound and gagged captive and then learn that Javier is being blackmailed to act as a murderous terrorist in order to keep his brother (the captive) alive.
  • Javier aims his gun at the unconscious President, threatening to shoot him if Veronica doesn't release Javier's brother. When that doesn't work, he aims his gun at her, but that doesn't persuade her either.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The Secret Service and their role in protecting the President, dealing with appearances before crowds, and the like.
  • Assassination attempts.
  • Whether doubles are really used in public events.
  • President Ashton's advisors urge him to strike a terrorist camp in Morocco, but the President is reluctant due to that being a friendly Arab country.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see video playback of Thomas taking a bullet for the President in the past during an assassination attempt (no blood).
  • We see TV news footage as President Ashton is hit by two bullets while standing at a summit podium, downing him (but with no blood). Following that, Enrique rushes onto the platform, with Thomas tackling and subduing him. That's followed by the sound of a distant explosion, and then a massive one on the platform at the front of a building. Many are killed, and the knocked over camera shows a static view of a dead and somewhat bloody TV reporter.
  • We see a flashback to Thomas taking a bullet for President Ashton (no blood).
  • We see another view of President Ashton being shot twice (no blood) and Thomas subsequently tackling Enrique on the platform. That's followed by the huge explosion again, where Thomas and others are blown aside. Moments later, we see him bloodied but still alive, while bloody dead and wounded people are around him on the ground, as is wreckage from the explosion.
  • Having seen Veronica in public with another man, Enrique is jealous and/or mad, and grabs her by the back of her hair while confronting her about that. She calms him down, and he gives her a bag as previously arranged.
  • We see President Ashton shot again, with Thomas then tackling Enrique. After being subdued, and using a distant explosion to his advantage, he then elbows a Secret Service agent to get away, followed once again by the massive explosion. Enrique flees, pursued by an agent who fires shots into the air as a warning, as well as at the suspect. During the chase, a car strikes Enrique, but he continues running, trying to elude the agents. He ends up going into a building and then jumping down from the balcony (landing hard on the street below) before fleeing again.
  • We see another view of President Ashton being shot, and then Thomas tackling Enrique. That's followed by the huge explosion again, Enrique being pursued, and then being hit by the car, and those gunshots at him as he flees. Some of them hit and down Enrique (but we later learn they came from another source, not the pursuing Secret Service agents).
  • There's an explosion at a hotel door, followed by a masked terrorist storming in, shooting various Secret Service agents and others there, and then aiming his gun at the President (but the scenes ends there for the time being).
  • We see cell phone video of a bound and gagged captive and then learn that Javier is being blackmailed to act as a murderous terrorist in order to keep his brother (the captive) alive.
  • Javier makes his way toward the Presidential hotel suite, gun in hand, and tries to avoid detection by agents moving about. When he gets close, he starts his killing spree, shooting many agents in his path (during this, we see President Ashton being shot again out in the plaza). Veronica nearly shoots Javier's brother who pleads (while gagged) for his life, but it's Suarez who shoots him dead instead. We then see Javier shoot another person, this time in a stairwell, and grabs and stabs two men to death (separately, and we don't see the actual impact or any blood). He then shoots several more, plants a small bomb, and then shoots more agents following the small explosion.
  • A Secret Service agent turns out to be working with the bad guys and thus kills some of his own men dead.
  • Terrorists kidnap President Ashton and then place something over his mouth and nose that renders him unconscious.
  • Veronica shoots an accomplice dead.
  • Thomas pursues a turncoat agent in a car chase where another vehicle t-bones Thomas' car, but the latter is still functional enough to continue the chase. That includes going the wrong direction down a one-way street, as well as the bad agent driving down a sidewalk and running over tables and chairs, while Thomas crashes into some parked cars (while other cars crash into each other as a result of the chase). From the passenger seat, Javier holds his gun on the bad agent who's driving (wanting him to free his brother), but then leans out the window and opens fire on Thomas, hitting the latter's car several times. A large truck then accidentally hits Thomas' car, smashing it and him against a wall (we presume he's dead, but he gets out and continues the chase on foot).
  • Javier aims his gun at Enrique to try to make him talk, but Thomas and Javier end up shooting each other. The bad agent then shoots Javier, followed by Thomas shooting the bad agent, causing the latter to be involved in a bad car crash (leaving him very bloody).
  • President Ashton hits Veronica with a pole from the back of an ambulance. The two then struggle, with Veronica shooting him in the leg, but Suarez then swerves to avoid hitting a young girl in the street (with Howard scooping her up and out of the way just in time). Their ambulance then overturns and crashes on its side, resulting in a passenger being killed.
  • Suarez nearly shoots President Ashton, but Thomas shoots the terrorist dead.



  • Reviewed February 11, 2008 / Posted February 22, 2008

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