Male nurse in training Samuel Pierret (Gilles Lellouche) foils the hospital-set hit of a bedridden criminal and ends up in a race against time in the new French thriller Point Blank. Sam’s altruistic gesture quickly spins his life out of control as he’s forced to team up with said criminal (the extremely watchable Roschdy Zem) in an effort to save his kidnapped pregnant wife from intimidating gangsters and corrupt police. Co-writer/director Fred Cavaye (Anything for Her) keeps this somewhat common action film setup from feeling derivative or stale by refusing to give his lead unrealistic abilities. Viewers easily identify with Sam’s plight, which seems all the more intense due to his limited experience with weapons and criminal behavior. In many ways, Sam is the spiritual opposite of the young lead in Hanna from earlier this year. The character of Hanna was raised to be the ultimate action hero, but what she lacked were natural human emotions and reactions. Sam is full of humanity, which makes his situation that much more intense. Thankfully the film is a taut 84 minutes long as there’s not much edge left to your seat by the finale.
Point Blank opens today at the Ritz Five.