Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Point Blank

Posted on

Point Blank

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
performer:
Angie Dickinson, Lee Marvin, Carroll O'Connor, Keenan Wynn
director:
John Boorman
author:
John Boorman, Alexander Jacobs, David Newhouse, Rafe Newhouse
genre:
Drama

We gave it an A

Shot full of bullets and left for dead before the opening credits, ghostly thug Walker (Lee Marvin, armed with a scowl that could overturn dump trucks) is bent on settling the score in this tightly coiled noir. Director John Boorman applies daring avant-garde sensibilities to the gangster genre, splintering the narrative with time lapses, flashbacks, and surreal dream motifs. Watch closely to see that Walker never actually kills anybody — fodder for the implication that he is not real but rather an exterminating spectre shoving his foes toward self-destruction. EXTRAS The vintage trailer and featurettes show the strained effort to sell this art pic as commercial fare. Paired with self-professed Point Blank kleptomaniac Steven Soderbergh for an anecdote-rich commentary, Boorman reveals how friction with studio execs (”They sent for a psychiatrist when they saw these rushes”) was neutralized by Marvin’s unquestioning loyalty. He also makes a gentlemanly crack at Mel Gibson’s rancid 1999 retread, Payback, and notes the movie’s vast influence on other directors: ”This was a scene, incidentally, which has often been copied,” he understates, to which Soderbergh replies, ”Um, I’m one of the people who copied it.”