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Grosse Pointe Blank

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Grosse Pointe Blank

Starring: John Cusack, Minnie Driver
Director: George Armitage
Rated: R
RunTime: 106 Minutes
Release Date: April 1997
Genres: Action, Comedy

*Also starring: Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Cusack

Review by Walter Frith
0 stars out of 4

The comparisons to 1994's 'Pulp Fiction are becoming absurd. That film was in a class by itself and will be recognizable in nostalgic flashbacks years from now. 'Two Days in the Valley' (1996) and a few other 'Pulp Fiction' wannabes are a waste of time and conversation.

'Grosse Pointe Blank' is being compared to 'Pulp Fiction' and that is the most ludicrous insult of them all. Martin Blank (John Cusack) is a freelance hitman and former government assassin who returns to his Michigan hometown for his ten year high school reunion. Along the way he finds some time to spend with his psychiatrist (Alan Arkin) and rubs elbows with a fellow hitman (Dan Aykroyd) whose trying to recruit Cusack into joining him in business as a partner. Upon returning to the place where he grew up, he visits his mother living in a mental institution, visits his father's grave and stops by to view the place his old house used to be and he is stunned to see it is now the site of a convenience store.

Throughout the course of the picture he is tailed by two government watchdogs and another assassin working in tow with Aykroyd to eventually kill him and he finally meets his high school sweetheart, the girl he stood up on prom night (Minnie Driver). She is stunned to see him again and plays hard to get in a lovable fashion which brings back the good old days for the two of them.

'Grosse Pointe Blank' starts off in a most quirky and unusual fashion with a likable tone and feel to it but as soon as Cusack and Driver meet, this motion picture takes a sharp turn in the direction of being unbearably abysmal; full of dialogue that has no coherent structure and has situations and characters straight from the mannequins reject pile.

It's such a disappointment to see John Cusack in a role that undercuts his value as an actor and Cusack is an extremely respectable star who has made a name for himself by wanting a low but noticeable profile in Hollywood since most of his films are critical rather than financial successes. 'Grosse Pointe Blank' leaves a bad taste in your mouth after you view it and revels in its own imagined glory as it builds itself up to be more than it really is and in the final payoff it falls flat on its face being full of meandering dark humour and heartless characters, some of whom redeem themselves too late and others who are unnecessary in the film's attempt to entertain.

Copyright 1997 Walter Frith

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