Point Blank - 2010

"À bout portant" (English captions) is as exciting as any recent thriller on the screen today. I checked this one out from the city library and you can probably find it through your favorite provider. As we watch, we keep hoping it's predictable (with a happy ending) but there are so many variables, we never relax. There is something about seeing an amateur pulled into a life and death struggle against seasoned professionals that automatically sucks us in.

Writer/director Fred Cavayé ("The Next Three Days") skillfully lays the groundwork as we become involved with a hospital aide studying for his nursing certificate, whose much-adored wife is over seven months pregnant with their first child. Our hero is on duty watching a wounded man under police guard. The man has been stabbed and will require additional medical attention. As the hospital staff is distracted, someone goes in and cuts the respirator hose.

Before you know it, the aide's wife has been abducted and the aide is instructed to bring the patient out of the hospital or they will kill her. Whew!

We see:
  • Gilles Lellouche ("Tell No One") is our frantic hero, completely focused on saving his wife, no matter what. It's refreshing to see a man who loves his wife with no ironic undertones or sarcasm.
  • Roschdy Zem ("The Girl From Monaco") is that wounded patient, desperately in need of medical attention and at the mercy of his nurse/trainee. I am a huge fan of Mr. Zem and am impressed every time I see him.
  • Elena Anaya ("The Skin I Live In") is the frightened mother-to-be who had been ordered bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy. There is very little of THAT for her, so that's something else to worry about!
We have hosts of police personnel, many of whom we come to recog- nize, many hospital folks who find themselves in harm's way, plus lots of gunfire, fisticuffs and foot chases. I'm happy to report that very little requires us to suspend disbelief.

The trailer that has English subtitles requires you to log in, so I'm not including it here.