Point Blank is a Short-Range Bit of Dumb Fun

Point Blank is nearly the exact same movie as Stuber, right down to a high-ranking female cop being buddy-buddy with the criminal underworld, and one man of violence (Frank Grillo) dragging one inexperienced civilian (Anthony Mackie) along for a rough-and-tumble ride through Los Angeles, all the while requiring the “weak” man’s particular brand of services. The similarities are eerie, but Stuber was a comedy. Point Blank is content as an action film with some humor and just enough macho pathos to get by. An under-cooked, thinly written plot is fortunately overshadowed by Grillo’s charisma and a scene-stealing performance by Christian Cooke as the younger brother in Grillo’s two-man unit. He’s an ordinary guy who knows only crime, and Cooke brings a fidgety sadness to his role that sells the good nature of these brothers more than any dialogue could imagine. No amount of charisma can overshadow Marcia Gay Harden as yet another hard-ass cop-cum-evil opportunist. This is not only cliched, it’s demeaning to the audience, especially when said cop seems to have no limits to their hardened madness. Stuber was self-aware enough to cast aside said cliche as a brief distraction, while Point Blank embraces it to up the stakes. Like the better movie before it, its stars make a good team, and it’s because of them (and Cooke) that Point Blank still entertains.

Grade: C+

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