POINT BLANK Blu-ray Review

     January 17, 2012

Every once in a while it’s nice to have a pleasant surprise, and 2010’s Point Blank – the French film with the title of a great American movie – is one of those surprises – it’s a really good action film. Perhaps it owes something to the Luc Besson school of French filmmaking with an eye toward Hollywood, or perhaps it’s in response to Besson’s repeated production of low budget action films. Regardless, writer/director Fred Cavayé delivers the goods. Gilles Lellouche, Roschdy Zem, Gérard Lanvin and Elena Anaya star in this pot-boiler about an innocent male nurse (Lellouche) who gets caught between a criminal (Zem) and corrupt police. Our review of Point Blank on Blu-ray follows after the jump.

The film starts with Zem’s Hugo Sartet running from a botched job. He’s being chased by two men, and runs into traffic and is hit by a motorcycle. Hugo ends up in the hospital where Samuel Pierret (Lelouche) is completing his training, and should be a nurse in a couple days. When he sees a man try to kill Hugo, he stops the assailant, but when he goes home to tell his very pregnant wife (Anaya) about it, he’s assaulted by Luc (Adel Bencherif), who informs him that if he wants to get his wife out of harm’s way, he better get Hugo out of the hospital as soon as possible.

Samuel goes back for Hugo, and then the chase is on as he has to get Hugo out while being surrounded by cops. Hugo is a bad ass and can take care of himself, but he’s still recovering from the bike accident and being shot. Still, he can take care of himself. From there it’s revealed that his heist job wasn’t what it appeared and when the cops come after Sam gives them a call, it turns out that Hugo’s a patsy and there’s evidence that could indict those responsible.

With films such as these, it’s best to have an interesting innocent in the middle of badassery, with a clear reason for being there. Samuel is not that competent – though he navigates avoiding the police pretty well while improvising. But his goal is simple and clear cut: he wants his wife back – whom we’ve been told should be off her feet.

And then there’s Zem’s Hugo Sartet. Cinema needs its steely criminals, and Zem – with his odd but romantic bruiser looks – fits the bill to a tee. You buy him kicking ass and taking names even while suffering from the wounds he carries. And the twist is excellent, leaving the main characters with no one to trust. Often these films get out of hand, but there’s a great through line here, and at 84 minutes, the movie doesn’t futz about. It’s a bullet of a ride, and well worth checking out.

Magnolia’s Blu-ray presents the film in widescreen (2.35:1) and in 5.1 DTS-HD master audio. As a new movie the transfer is spectacular. Extras include a making of (50 min.) that spends a lot of time on the stunts and the film’s theatrical trailer, along with bonus trailers.

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