A slick disappointment. Despite an intriguing setup and a cast that includes Oscar winners Forest Whitaker and William Hurt, this 21st century “Rashomon” collapses in a heap of car chases, shootouts and utterly implausible plot developments. The action takes place in Spain, at a global summit for the war on terror. Sigourney Weaver is the director of a CNN-type live broadcast as Hurt’s President Ashton takes the podium.
A weary-looking Dennis Quaid is Thomas Barnes, a Secret Service agent who’s just back on the job after taking a bullet for the president months earlier. Matthew Fox from “Lost” is his partner. The clock resets, and we see the same chain of events from their perspective. And then we rewind and see the assassination attempt from yet another vantage point. In this segment, Forest Whitaker is an American tourist who becomes a modern-day Zapruder when his video camera captures the shooting.
The ads for the movie give away a huge twist in the plot that I’m not going to reveal here. Suffice to say that the moment that development is revealed is the moment “Vantage Point” lost me. It’s a silly contrivance and it adds more confusion to a plot that was already stretching credibility. There’s a lot of style and skill on display here, and we do learn something new with each segment. But the more we learn, the less we care. There are far too many shootouts, far too many coincidences, far too many clichés. Stay away from this one.