Netflix Review: Point Blank (2019)
With our lists released for summer movies to view on Netflix and Amazon Prime, it seemed like the perfect time to review one of these new releases. Point Blank is one of the most recent Netflix originals and a remake of the French film, À bout portant. The film was directed by Joe Lynch and written by Adam G. Simon. It follows a male nurse who assists a criminal escape the hospital when his pregnant wife is kidnapped. The film stars Anthony Mackie as Paul Booker, an ER nurse, and Frank Grillo as criminal Abe Guevara. The film’s cast also includes Marcia Gay Harden, Teyonah Parris, Boris McGiver, Christian Cooke, and Markice Moore.
The film begins with shots being fired at a large house and a man dressed in black running away from the house. The man running is Abe Guevara, and he is being pursued by other men. His brother, Mateo, waits in the getaway car for his signal. Abe calls to be picked up, and while Mateo is nearing him, Abe is accidentally hit by another vehicle. Mateo drives away as ambulances and police arrive on the scene of the accident. Meanwhile, Paul Booker is checking on his pregnant wife before he goes to work at the hospital. Abe ends up being one of his patients, but while checking on him, he is attacked by a masked man who steals his keycard. Paul is sent home, where he is later attacked again. When he awakes, his wife is missing, and he is told he must help Abe escape the hospital if he wants to see her again.
I have admittedly never seen the original French film, but Netflix’s iteration of Point Blank tends to follow the typical action chase film. There are some decent action pieces, and putting Grillo and Mackie together on screen was an excellent choice. Mackie’s character is a departure from the typical hero in an action film as someone who has no combat training. He is an everyman type of hero, and while he’s capable of taking a punch, I appreciated the fact that his real strength derived from his medical expertise. Outside of Mackie’s characterization, the connection between Abe and Mateo was one of the more interesting aspects of the film. They are two brothers who have consistently taken care of one another, and while they have definitely broken laws, their relationship was part of what held the film together.
While there are some decent performances and impactful characters, the film was a bit too boring for its chosen genre. The story was predictable with the “twist” easily figured out before the story progressed very far. With that slow progression, I personally lost interest at different points. Additionally, the film hit a weird shift in tone toward the end with the involvement of the gangster, Big D. He had been referenced as this serious threat throughout the entire film, and he ended up being a bit of a comical character. That characterization would have worked, but it clashed with the already established serious tone of the film.
At the end of the day, Point Blank can be counted as another action film on Netflix readily available for streaming. It is not the best in its genre, but I have also seen much worse through the years. It does have some predictability, but it also has some high points courtesy of a different main character and several intriguing criminals. It might have a bit of a cheesy resolution and ultimate ending, but it does add something new to the Netflix rundown.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.