XL Popcorn – Point Blank

List Item: Watch all of the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”
Progress: 611/1007
Title: Point Blank
Director: John Boorman
Year: 1967
Country: USA

Obsession. If there was one word to describe the film Point Blank it would be obsession, but before I get to this I really want to say a quick word about the first 5 minutes of this film.

This is not the first time that I have tried to watch Point Blank. I was so put off watching this film some time ago because the first five minutes made little to no sense. So I just figured that this would be a film that I need to be more awake for. I mean, I am all for dropping the audience into a film, there are many films that have done that successfully, but doing this with a bunch of quick time-leaping, stream of consciousness cuts then you lose me.

After I got through this initial sequence the film took off and it was 90 minutes of a slow burn. At the heart of the movie is Walker (Lee Marvin) whose singular focus on getting the money he is due after being back-stabbed during a… I want to say heist. This vendetta just snowballs to the extent that no one else in the film’s universe can quite believe that Walker is doing this all for $93,000. I’m inclined to agree.

Sure Walker was left for dead by a man who he thought was his friend, but he does away with this friend about halfway into the film. For the rest of it Walker has many a brush with death and becomes this figure of intimidation (much like Javier Bardem’s character in No Country For Old Men) and a dick to women.

When you don’t know where Point Blank is going there is a curious sense of wonder at just how far one man will go for his share of a heist. Now that I have seen this I’m not too sure how well it will stand-up to a re-watch. I mean it is a fantastically intense performance from Lee Marvin with someone being killed by falling off a roof with no clothes on… but on the other hand there is still that awful jazz club scene where all the singer does is scream ‘Yeah’ to generic and repetitive funk music.

So yes, it’s an interesting film. Just not sure how interesting it would be should I see it again.

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