Humble Pie review
Reviewed by Scott for Humble Pie at 2011-07-01 11:41:04
I loved Humble Pie. I will admit this movie is probably not one for the masses; however, I could relate with the main character in so many ways. We live in an evil world and it seems everyone is against us no matter how much we want to make the world a better place.
http://braidedthreads.blogspot.com/2008/09/running-with-matchsticks.html ...By the end of Matchstick Men, the filmmakers seem to feel guilty for asking us to sympathize with someone who steals for a living so they try to overcompensate by bringing Cage through an emotional, psychological, and professional meat grinder. A twist ending makes the film you just watched seem like a more fascinating one than it did while you were actually watching it. That "aha!" ending almost seems borrowed from another movie: one with enough mystery and suspense to prepare you for such a satisfying revelation. If only the the filmmakers had been able to transfer some of the tension and confusion of Cage's character to the viewer so that we could have a few more question marks to carry through the film until we reach the answers in the end. As it is, we get answers for questions we didn't know we were supposed to be asking.
Vantage Point is chock full of totally implausible character connections and plot points, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is tightly edited. It never really slows down. It is like a 2-hour long-distance sprint. A plot to kill the president of the United States is split into half a dozen perspectives, and the film explores one perspective at a time, rolling back the clock for each new section in order to revisit the same events from different angles. At least, that was the idea. As the film moves on, it looses its grip on the ability to stick with any one Vantage Point. This is no Rashomon or Courage Under Fire (both of which examined wildly varying perspectives and individualized memories of shared events). The psychological landscapes of the characters in this film are pretty barren. Capital-T Truth is not a relative phenomena in Vantage Point. There are no question marks left by the time the credits roll, which is satisfying, in its own way. The film baits you with some half-revealed information at the end of each section, and makes you wait for future sections to find out a little bit more. In fact, several of these sections cut away at ridiculous moments, like commercial breaks, that recall cheap television cliffhanging strategies, as if to make sure you don't click over to some other station. This is a thriller that uses different perspectives merely as a device to withhold and then reveal information. Eventually, the movie becomes a familiar thriller/action movie with all vantage points given at once. And I have to say, it does an excellent job at that level. In fact, for what it was, it was a hoot: high energy, intense acting, the promise revelation, and the unveiling of an impressively devised plot to assassinate the president.
I had to watch this film a few times before I loved it. Cage is brilliant portraying a mentally ill genius con artist. I thoroughly enjoyed his character from the 1st minute. I saw the movie in the theatre and thought, ugh. But once I bought it on DVD I began to like the movie more. The movie is slow at the beginning but it picks up enough and when the twist ending hits you, you're left wondering what the heck just happened.