In Spain, an American news team covers a public rally where President Ashton (William Hurt) is expected to announce his new counterterrorism plan to the world. As his motorcade pulls in to the plaza, protesters voice their disapproval outside, suggesting that Ashton is about as popular overseas as President George W. Bush. After a short introduction by the city's mayor, the TV cameras zoom in expectantly as he takes the podium.
Suddenly, before he can speak, shots ring out. The President is down, and the crowd is thrown into a panic. News producer Rex Brooks (Sigourney Weaver) quickly barks orders to her camera crew and reporters to sort out the action. Two small explosions echo in the distance, adding to the confusion. Minutes later, a bomb goes off near the stage, killing and injuring several more people.
That's the first 10 minutes of Vantage Point, and pretty much the next 10 after that, and the next 10, and the next
The film is a high-tech whodunit of a thriller that plays like an episode of television's 24 crossed with Rashomon. We view the same sequence of events over and over from eight different perspectives, each adding a new piece to the puzzle in a race against time to find out who's responsible, and what's really going on. Digital recording adds to the intrigue as characters gain insights reviewing footage from just moments ago. Gimmicky, yes, but Vantage Point is quite involving and engrossing, if not somewhat repetitive.
After the film's opening segment, we follow secret service agent Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid), an aging veteran who took a bullet in the line of duty six months ago. He's newly back on detail, thanks to his friend and fellow agent Kent Taylor (Matthew Fox). We experience the events from ...1