Everly and Mayhem helmer Joe Lynch‘s latest feature outing, Point Blank, will be a testament for some critics as to how some remakes fare compared to others. Produced under the auspices of production banner banner WarParty Films, the magnifying glass will especially hover for folks curious of its future endeavors, including a remake of a certain Indonesian crime thriller.
It helps that enough time has lapsed for a film like Fred Cavayé’s 2010 thriller to still carry some viability for moviegoers. History notes the film would’ve once had Mark Wahlberg involved in some capacity, which probably makes the casting of Marvel Cinematic Universe co-stars Frank Grillo and Anthony Mackie all the more buoyant for fans of both actors.
Following most of Cavayé’s formula with screenwriter and co-star Adam G. Simon (Man Down) adding his own touch, it’s not too long before registered nurse, Paul (Mackie) finds himself ambushed in his own home and knocked unconcious. His wife, Taryn (Teyonah Harris), is kidnapped during the ordeal by Mateo (Christian Cooke) and, soon after waking up to her kidnapper’s phone call demanding the release of his wounded brother, Abe (Frank Grillo) from the hospital.
The extraction ensues only to end up with Paul and Abe being chased by two cops seemingly investigating the murder of a local district attorney. Equiped with a bag of supplies as Abe’s only means of keeping up after suffering from a gunshot wound from that fateful evening, Paul has no choice but to keep Abe alive long enough to make it to an exchange, only to be infiltrated and back on the run.
The remainder of the film unravels with a cat-and-mouse game between Abe, and Paul, soon all the wiser to who’s who and who is actually behind the greater scheme of things. High-speed car chases and bareknuckle fisticuffs pepper things up some, elevated by a soundtrack decked out with a whimsical variety of 80s hit songs to appeal to the movie and music lover’s nostalgia, taking on a much different tone than the original.
Mackie and Grillo work feasibly well together in crafting their on screen partnership from Simon’s script. Comprised with enough humor to bring personality to Lynch’s Point Blank, you’ll be inclined to share just a few laughs amid all the danger and peril. Actor Markice Moore joins in for the role of a major crimeboss with a cinephilic side to his gangster persona that makes things fun.
The film’s requisite hand-to-hand essentials by fight coordinator Buster Reeves, is largely friendly on the eyes despite the reliance on static editing and close-ups for better packaging. Thankfully it’s not over the top seeing as Lynch is one of those directors who know how to balance it all out during the editing process – whereas others simply aim to disappoint (let downs like Taken 2 and 3, Brick Mansions and Mile 22 come to mind, and I’ll never stop reminding people of this).
The original Point Blank is still very much worth watching, as is director Chang’s own South Korean remake, The Target. Compare and contrast as you may though, Lynch’s incarnation guarantees an entertaining eighty-six minute thrill on Netflix that won’t go wasted.