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Review: Point Blank

Diminishing returns
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 9, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars

Not to be confused with John Boorman's masterful 1967 noir, Fred Cavayé's crackling but dumb thriller piles on parallel plot lines in order to intensify suspense, but with diminishing returns. Samuel (Gilles Lellouche), a student nurse, gets sucked into a quagmire of murder and corruption when a thug kidnaps his pregnant wife, Nadia (Elena Anaya), to blackmail him into springing Hugo (Roschdy Zem), a wounded prisoner held by the police at the hospital where he works. Samuel proves he's learned more from his nursing classes than emptying bedpans as he runs from cops, dodges hit men, handles small arms, and kicks ass. Forced to align with Hugo, Samuel must elude a crooked cop (Gérard Lanvin) as well the legit police and the mob. Though Cavayé roots his action in atmospheric detail, and Lanvin's malice and Zem's tenacity help stabilize the narrative chaos, absurdity prevails when three simultaneous races against time are topped off by Nadia giving birth.

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