Take some minor star power, add a dead on arrival plot, decide it’d work best as a Netflix original, keep the running time under 90 minutes and you have the perfect movie to watch on a hot summer night.
Or so you’d think.
“Point Blank,” the 100,000th Netflix original of 2019 (only a slight exaggeration), fits all of the above criteria. The plot makes no sense, but there’s enough action you can overlook it. It is a Netflix original, which is always a crap shoot when it comes to quality. And the running time is a mere 86 minutes, meaning you don’t have to devote too much time to it.
Still, it’s hard to really get behind this movie.
The movie kicks off with a shootout that leaves a district attorney dead in his house and thug Abe running for his life. Did Abe kill the district attorney for some reason? And what is on the thumb drive he is trying to get to his brother Mateo so desperately?
Things take a bad turn for the brothers when Mateo, trying to find his brother running through the streets, accidentally hits him with his car. Abe ends up in the hospital and, like most tough guys in movies of this type, he doesn’t seem too put out from being hit by a car.
Into this wanders Paul, a nurse at the hospital Abe is in. Paul, played by Anthony Mackie from the Marvel Universe, and probably the only actor here you’ve heard of, is doing his job attending Abe when somebody hiding in a corner and dressed like a low rent ninja, attacks him.
Here’s where things start to go off the rails. The ninja is Mateo and he proceeds to beat Paul up, then jumps out the window and run off. You will wonder, if your attention hasn’t drifted away already, why Mateo, who was standing right next to the window, didn’t just jump out the window to start with?
But, as the movie goes on, Mateo appears to be kind of stupid, maybe explaining some of what happens. Maybe.
Paul goes home to his pregnant wife where Mateo breaks in, knocks Paul out and kidnaps the wife and won’t return her until Paul helps Mateo get Abe out of the hospital. “You’re involved in this now!” Mateo screams at Paul over the phone.
No, it doesn’t make any sense. How is Paul involved just because he walked into the room while Mateo was there? How did Mateo even know who he was and where he lived? Ah, that’s right. Mateo is stupid enough to be a criminal mastermind.
Through your standard action movie scenario, Paul gets Abe out the hospital even though cops are standing guard everywhere (remember, the guy supposedly killed a district attorney) and you’d think that would be it for Paul and his very pregnant wife. Either the guys let them go because they don’t need them anymore or they’re evil enough to kill them so there are no loose ends.
But, you know. That would end the movie after about 30 minutes and you can’t have a movie that short, even on Netflix.
So, the brothers hold onto their respective hostages, trying to find each other, and thing only get more 90’s action movie feeling from there on. There are bad cops, you can pick them out if you try, a drug dealer named Big D who wants the brothers dead and good cops who are so bad at their jobs they can’t catch a nurse, a very wounded bad guy and a complete dimwit.
The movie, in the best 90’s action movie form, tries to get you to cheer for Abe and his brother, but they’re a little too dull witted and one note for that to happen. You want the bad cops to get their due but you also want Abe and Mateo to be thrown in jail and forgotten. Who knows what kind of crimes they’ve committed over the years?
You’ll want a lot of things from this movie, and you’ll get a couple of them, but it’s not enough to make up for what you don’t get. But it’s short and it’s not like you’ll really do anything else some random night at 8:30 p.m. and you’re not planning on going to bed until 10.