This is how Point Blank opens: When safecracker Hugo Sartet suddenly finds two men confronting him in a darkened Paris apartment, it’s run or die. He runs…out of the apartment, down the stairs, across a thoroughfare dodging cars, into a traffic-filled underpass. He’s been shot in the side, bleeding, gasping for air. Cars roar past him. Some narrowly miss him. He’s bleeding badly and can hardly stagger. The two pursuers, guns drawn, are almost on him. They’re not interested in catching him, just killing him. A motorcyle suddenly runs straight into him. Drivers screech on the brakes and halt. Some run over to help. The two gunmen fade back and then run off.
What’s all this have to do with Samuel Pierret, a nurse’s aide? Pierret’s a nice guy with an everyman face. His wife Nadia is seven months pregnant. They are a warm, sexy couple who love each other. Her doctor told Nadia she must be careful and rest as much as possible. Pierret dotes on her. This will be their first child.
Hugo Sartet and Samuel Pierret are going to meet when Pierret starts his night shift. Visitors have left and the ward is empty except for silent patients separated by curtains. Sartet is one of the patients. He’s wrapped in bandages, hooked up to monitors and unconscious. He’s about to be murdered unless Pierret notices the silent visitor now standing by Sartet’s bed.
And now Point Blank (A bout portant), a classy French gangster/chase thriller directed by Fred Cavaye, takes off. Sam scares off the murderer, cops arrive, and Sam takes a phone call. We just kidnapped your wife, Sam is told, now get Sartet out of the hospital and take him to this abandoned warehouse or we’ll kill her.
A frantic, fast and sometimes brutal chase begins. The cops are after both of them. Sam has become headline fodder as a probable criminal, vying for tabloid honors with an important businessman who’d been gunned down for no apparent reason. But who has kidnapped Sam’s pregnant wife? Maybe a partner of Sartet trying to help him? Maybe the cops who might have other things in mind? Men and women, including a cop, quickly become corpses..
The movie isn’t a buddy flick. Sartet, played by Roschdy Zem, is a professional gangster, mean looking, fit, competent and humorless. Pierret, played by Gilles Lellouche, is younger, a bit out of shape, honest and can only think of his wife. Sartet wants to live and exact revenge. Pierret desperately wants to save his wife and protect their unborn child.
There are two masterful and lengthy action set pieces, one in the Paris metro and one in a police station. With the action in the station, Cavaye creates chaos. Panicky cops and crooks rush up and down stairs. There are murder attempts, close calls, crowded hallways and stairways, slammed doors and a transvestite. Sartet’s skills and coolness are vital and so is Pierret’s nervous bravery.
Point Blank is nearly non-stop action, coherent and clever. The end, needless to say, is satisfying. Hitchcock would approve.
Let’s see now. I have heard so many good things about this French action thriller directed by Fred Cavaye who was responsible for another French film “Anything For Her“ which was re-made in the U.S. as “The Next Three Days“ with Russell Crowe. “Point Blank” had several good reviews going for it, and i did not know much about Cavaye save for that other film. I was a little mad at myself when I missed "Point Blank's" limited release … more
Since I retired in 1995 I have tried to hone skills in muttering to myself, writing and napping. At 75, I live in one of those places where one moves from independent living to hospice. I expect to begin … more
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