Walker (Lee Marvin) strides through Los Angeles with the steel-eyed stare of a stone-cold killer, or perhaps a ghost. Betrayed by his wife and best friend, who gun him down point-blank and leave him for dead after a successful heist, Walker blasts his way up the criminal food chain in a quest for revenge. Did he survive the shooting or return from the grave, or is it all a dying dream? The question is left in the air in John Boorman's modern film noir, a brutal revenge thriller based on Richard Stark's novel The Hunter (remade by Brian Helgeland as Payback), set in the impersonal concrete and steel canyons of Los Angeles and eerily empty cells of Alcatraz. Walker kills without remorse, guided by shadowy "informant" Keenan Wynn, whose own agenda is carefully concealed, and assisted by Angie Dickinson, as he desperately searches for someone, anyone, who can just give him his money. But if Walker is an extreme incarnation of the revenge-driven noir antihero, the modern syndicate has been transformed into a world of paper jungles and corporate businessmen, an alienating concept to the two-fisted, gun-wielding gangster. Boorman creates a hard, austere look for the film and fragments the story with flashes of painful memory, grafting the New Wave onto old genres with confidence and style. Haunting and brutal, Point Blank remains one of the most distinctive crime thrillers ever made. --Sean Axmaker
Audio Commentary: Commentary by Directors John Boorman and Steven Soderbergh Featurette: Vintage Featurettes The Rock Part 1 and The Rock Part 2 --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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shoot him and leave him for dead during a robbery they all commit together. Marvin spends the rest of the film
getting revenge, as well as trying to get his $93,000 back.
But where the story itself is simple, Boorman brings a dazzling array of stylistic conceits, many more normally at home in European art films
of the day, than in a Hollywood tough guy revenge story. Echoes of Godard, Bergman, Truffaut, and Antonioni - just to name a few – pull
one to look deeper into this story, the loose, sometimes confusing and elliptical structure leading us inside the character's alienation.
There have been many films starring the 'lone tough guy' but this is one about just how alone and lonely it is to be that guy, and how
pointless being an individualist can seem in a modern world, where even crime is run not by street-tough hoods, but by corporate types in
suits. "The Organization" here isn't the Mafia, but might well be any Fortune 500 company, and indeed the film acknowledges the darkly comic
absurdism of Marvin's quest for $93,000 from men to whom that kind of money is chump change.
In that sense it's a beautiful, dream-like study of the old ideal of the loner coming up against a modern world where the loner is no longer
the hero, or even the anti-hero. He's simply, sadly an anachronism.
The WB DVD transfer is pretty solid, but this film really screams out for a good blu-ray upgrade.
'Point Blank' is based on 'The Hunter', the first Parker novel, since then retitled as 'Point Blank' in its book incarnation. In the film Parker is called Walker (for no apparent reason) bud it faithfully played by Marvin, who is the best screen Parker so far encountered. Although the script takes considerable liberties with the novel's plot at times, this is the film that gets closest to the cold, methodical genius of the parker we know and love from the novels. Robert Duvall's Parker in 'The Outfit' was hampered with a motivation the literary
Parker would never have needed (vengeance after his brother is killed) while Peter Coyote's Parker in 'Slayground' is hamstrung by a plot that veers millions of miles away from the book, which was utterly absurd as 'Slayground' is one of the most visuallly kinetic novels I've ever read (and I've read a couple of thousand) and still cries out for a faithful film adaptation. Mel Gibson in 'Payback'?...say no more. MG is a buffoon who lacks the gravitas to come anywhere near the effectiveness of one of the minor characters in any Parker novel, let alone the greatest antihero of them all himself. Finally, De Niro comes close to Parker in 'heat' (in which he plays a similar character) but his downfall comes through sentimentality, something the emotionless workmanlike Parker of the novels would never allow to cloud his judgement.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A revenge film that's more an art film that a revenge film. Fortunately Marvin plays his usually stoic, tough guy role which is the movie's only high point. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Info
This is a great transfer of an awesome guys pic. Lee Marvin is electric and believable as a tough guy out for revenge. Read morePublished 5 months ago by KoD
We like Lee Marvin so picked this one up for the "classic" part of the collection. Enjoyed seeing the various actors in their younger days.Published 9 months ago by G&S
maybe there's a good movie buried somewhere in here,but i couldn't get
far enough to find out.this thing just bored me to tears. Read more
Director: John Boorman
Studio: Warner Studios
Video Release Date: June 22, 1994
Lee Marvin ... Walker
Angie Dickinson ... Read more
Most people view this as being a classic however in my view it does not quite meet those standards. Having read the novels for such a long time and watching the action unfold to... Read morePublished on June 20 2003 by Joseph Ziehm
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