Grosse Pointe is almost comparable to Pulp Fiction
Grosse Pointe Blank
Pulp Fiction revolutionized American films by showing us something shocking, funny, violent, and stylish all at the same time. It's been done before, but not so well done as in Pulp Fiction. There is a point in Grosse Pointe Blank in which I laughed very hard, even though it was a subtle moment. I was laughing throughout the entire scene, but when I saw a Pulp Fiction ad get shot up by the main character, I laughed and realized that it was probably the director's intention at taking a stab at Pulp.
The movie is almost as enjoyable as Pulp Fiction. There was something about GROSSE POINTE BLANK that just turned me off slightly. I'm not sure what it was, and perhaps it was that I was a few years younger than I am now. Grosse Pointe Blank, however, is more quirky than Pulp Fiction was. But enough of comparing the two movies because both are good. Grosse Pointe is a very funny and sometimes violent comedy. The movie stars John Cusack as Martin Q. Blank, a hitman who is questioning whether he should continue killing people. In the opening scene, he is talking to his secretary, Marcella (played by John's real-life sister, Joan Cusack), about how busy he is while shooting someone. Right from the start you can tell it's going to be a dark comedy.
The main plot of the movie involves Blank going back to Grosse Pointe in order to redeem himself from missing his target at the beginning of the movie. He is assigned to shoot someone else, but he also decides to go to his 10th high school reunion while on the job. He figures that he may be able to escape his life style from fixing up problems from his past. One includes a subplot that makes the movie better than it would have been. Blank decides to visit the woman he stood up on Prom night in order to join the Army. That woman is Debi (Minnie Driver), a radio DJ who has her own show. He shows up at her station and she asks her listeners is she should go out with him to let him redeem himself. She finally agrees to let him take her to the reunion.
Grosse Pointe Blank never really goes over the edge like Pulp Fiction did, but it does drag at points. But mostly the pace is kept up and the humor is high rate. The violence comes it sections, but it doesn't show anything really offensive. Grosse Pointe also features something that I miss: songs from the 80s. My favorite is Violent Femmes. The music keeps the mood of the film upbeat and entertaining. The writing is quirky and funny, but it's the acting that makes the movie superb.
John Cusack has never had a big name in Hollywood. I've known him, but not many people do. He has been seen in several movies, including Bullets Over Broadway and Stand By Me, but Grosse Pointe Blank should make him a star. Besides, he deserves to be recognized. He is a very talented actor who hasn't made it big in Hollywood. Dan Aykroyd is a fellow assassin working directly for the government to dispose of people that the government wants out of the way. He is very funny, even though I don't care for him much as an actor. Minnie Driver is the love interest, but she also provides some humor of her own. My two favorite characters in the film are played by Joan Cusack and Alan Arkin. Joan Cusack is known from Addams Family Values and I have always liked her. She can play a wide variety of roles and is very funny in this movie. Alan Arkin steals the entire movie, however, even with his small role. He plays Blank's psychiatrist and he doesn't like the fact that his client is an assassin. He has the best lines in the film and much more.
Grosse Pointe Blank is rated R. There is strong violence, language, and some drug content. Director George Armitage has produced a wonderfully funny and cool movie. While I was watching the movie, most of the adults were laughing right along with me, so I'm safe to assume that adults will like this movie just as much as teenagers will. But it is rated R for a good reason, so leave the kids behind. Other than that, everyone will have fun watching Grosse Pointe Blank.
***1/2 out of ****
Reviews by Boyd Petrie