Right on Target
Most movies, for some time, seem to coast on the studio decree of entertainment via spectacle, rapid editing and formulaic everything else. Rarely does a movie get everything right defying these staples...it's a tall order.
When studio committee distillation meets inspired screenwriting and discerned casting, something approaching perfection can happen. Grosse Pointe Blank locks and loads.
The main plot is about a top of his game hitman (John Cusak) stumbling upon his 10 year high school year reunion during a botched assignment. This loner protagonist has to reconcile the ghosts of his past, negotiate his pent up neurosis and kill someone from his hometown during his psychological inventory...brilliant premise.
This dark comedy's writing is superb...Quick and hillarious. The diner scene between rival assassins Dan Akroyd and Cusak weighing each other's position in a hitman guild and freelance gig is tense and sidesplitting. As is the scene where Cusak's love interest, Minnie Driver, is in a bath tub with her father (the assignment). Cusak opens the door to check on them and he tells her that he wants her hand in marriage, after a 10 year hiatus & vicious gun battle. Her father says, "You got my blessing!"
The central cast of John Cusak, Jeremy Piven and Alan Arkin are fantastic, so fluid...I can't see anybody else fitting the roles better.
Punctuations of action hit jobs seamlessly intermix with Cusak's unfolding character development that greases the movie's steady pacing and comic flourishes at every corner.
Accentuating all of the character dynamics is one of the best soundtracks I've heard in a movie since the great Goodfellas (1990). The soundtrack is so good (80's mostly) that two cd's were released from this film. Artists include: Echo & the Bunnymen's "The Killing Moon," "99 Luft Balloons" by Nena, songs by The Cure, The Clash, Guns n' Roses, Paul Mc Cartney, David Bowie, etc..
This movie of a detached hitman coming to terms with his profession, life and love hits a bullseye.