Vantage Point

Rated 3.0

We enter the film through a TV news van parked outside a plaza in Salamanca, Spain, where the U.S. president (William Hurt), along with other international diplomats, is set to sign a historic anti-terrorism treaty. Sigourney Weaver plays the news director, telling five or six different cameramen what to focus on. After the president is shot, the clock moves backwards to a few minutes prior to the shooting, this time showing us what happened from the viewpoint of Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid), on his first day back on the Secret Service detail since taking a bullet for the president. He notices a tourist (Forest Whitaker) who is videotaping the events, and after the shooting he has a Spanish man (actually a cop, played by Eduardo Noriega) arrested. We’ll soon see events through their eyes as well. The idea of showing one world-changing event through different people’s points of view is fascinating on its surface. But then the filmmakers had this problem of explaining what really happened, turning the cool concept film into an everyday action flick, complete with car chases and hostages.