I always enjoy movies that take a little care to be different and don’t pander to or ‘feed’ the audience too much. Vantage Point manages all this whilst remaining a fairly standard Hollywood blockbuster type movie. The story of a Presidential assasination is played out from several different viewpoints, each one giving us a different view and a little more information as to what is going on. The grizzled veteran bodyguard, the American tourist who gets caught in the middle of the story, to the President himself, each section reveals another twist in the tale before it’s all finally pulled together in a frantic closing section.
Given the restrictions of this method, I was surprised at how well the characters and storyline are slowly filled out. Admittedly there isn’t much room for the actors to be anything other than competent (Sigourney Weaver probably wrapped her entire sessions in a few days), but the assembled cast is experienced enough to give reasonable performances that sit well with the framework of the movie, even if some of the scenes become a little far-fetched (there is a little too much "American pride" at work here on occasion).
Despite the repetition, the pace of the opening sections remains high and as you aren’t being spoonfed too much, you are constantly scanning the screen for information. I’m not sure exactly how many takes each scene took, but there had to be multiple units shooting different people at the same time as you can see characters in the background of some shots that certainly don’t look like they’ve been re-shot.
Of course it’s worth bearing in mind that this is a Hollywood blockbuster, so whilst the style and execution of the movie is well handled, the story is a little predictable. Still, I consider the suspension of disbelief to be an essential part of the cinema going experience and if you like a good distraction then I’d happily recommened Vantage Point.