Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Vantage Point: A Retrospective

Vantage Point is one of those movies that deserves for you to catch the last twenty minutes on cable some five or six years from now. At this point you'll think to yourself "I remember when this movie came out. It looked pretty dumb, but it had that guy from LOST in it...oh yeah, Matthew Fox. I wonder what he's been up to since that show ended...Maybe I'll add Vantage Point to my Netflix (or whatever similar service exists in the theoretical future I'm predicting here) queue." Then you'll add it to the bottom of your queue, only to discover it there about a year and a half later, after it has slowly and silently crawled it's way up into your top fifteen, and you'll leave it there because you remember that one time several months ago you caught part of it on TV and you must have had some reason for adding it to your queue.

After a few weeks it will show up at your house and you'll leave it sitting on the coffee table for days, not really all that interested in watching it, at which point you'll consider sending the movie back without doing so. But then you'll perhaps meet a girl (or guy) somewhere, take them on a date, and end up back at your apartment. Of course, you'll quickly realize that you have nothing in common with one another as you look over your DVD (or at this point, roughly seven and a half years in the future, Blu-ray) collection together and bicker over the selection, your guest insulting all of your favorites like A Clockwork Orange and Big Trouble In Little China while singing the praises of whichever moronic summer comedy starring a former SNL "star" came out the previous year which he/she wishes you had on hand to watch.

Unable to decide on one of your own movies, you spy the rented copy of Vantage Point sitting on the table in the living room and suggest that the two of you watch it. Your guest hasn't seen it and neither have you, so you pop it in and sit through it quietly. When the movie ends the two of you will remain on the sofa of your home/apartment, an entire cushion between you, and make awkward conversation about how weird it was that the same series of events in the movie happened over and over as you try to explain that it was actually somewhat daring of the director to take this approach with his film, before he/she makes some excuse to leave which you honestly don't mind accepting as this relationship obviously isn't going anywhere and you'd just as soon go to sleep alone as try to coerce your guest into the sack.

The next morning as you drink coffee in front of your television, you'll eject Vantage Point from your next-gen (or by this point "modern-gen") player and stick it in it's return envelope for mailing back to it's rental company of origin. As you glance at the stereotypically uninventive, photoshopped artwork on the disc while placing it into the protective sleeve which you'll soon place among the rest of your outgoing mail, you'll stop and think to yourself, "Well, it wasn't a great movie, but it was probably the best part of that entire date."

And that, in a nutshell, explains my feelings on Vantage Point some three or four months after having watched it. At least I got my viewing of it out of the way by seeing it in the theater instead of having to go through the unrewarding charade I've unraveled above.

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