Point Blank (1967)

Point Blank, John Boorman. If like me you desire your hard-boiled California neo-noir with a heavy dose of existential dread, this is the film to beat. Lee Marvin channels Bogart’s darkness and anticipates the better aspects of Bruce Willis’s menace (it’s Marvin’s finest performance) while the cinematography and editing reach art house levels of quality. In this one film, you can see where Tarrantino got his vision thing—but in place of Boorman’s dread and ambiguity QT substitutes hipster cool; the sacrifice is depth. Point Blank adds a fourth act that exposes the futility of the chase and finishes with a question mark, not an exclamation point. At the end, we, along with the main character, wonder what all the fuss was about. We should have stayed dead on Alcatraz when we had the chance.

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