Friday, September 19, 2014

Movie Review #32: Grosse Pointe Blank

A friend of mine pointed out that this movie was on Netflix, otherwise I never would have registered it in my Netflix browsing. It simply looks like some random romantic comedy and, though I don't have anything against romantic comedies, I also don't go out of my way to watch them. Unless they're classics I know I enjoy, like Clueless or Legally Blonde, and shut up I like those movies.

Grosse Pointe Blank is definitely that: a romantic comedy, with a bit of a twist. Which is about as much as of a short review as I can manage: it's a romantic comedy. Do you like romantic comedies? If so, you might like this one. If not, it's not going to change your mind about the genre. It's not the best romantic comedy by a long shot, but it has some quirks that make it stand out as a bit higher than average.


Martin Blank is a contract killer who hasn't seen his hometown in 10 years. He receives an invitation to his high school's 10 year reunion, which he has no intention of attending despite pressure from his secretary. The stars align, however, and when an employer is unsatisfied with a job, he demands that Martin maker up for it by taking out someone else--a target located in Martin's hometown of Grosse Pointe, a suburb of Detroit.

While there Martin gets pulled back into the world he left behind: friends he hasn't seen, places that have changed, and the girl he left behind and never got over...


Martin reminds me of a lot of people I know, perhaps even myself in some ways. He's distanced himself from the world, which has given him a different perspective than most, even if it's kind of left him hollow. That perspective is what allows him to do things that other people aren't inclined to do: his moral relativity allows him to feel comfortable killing people for money, even if most people would balk at the idea. He's aware of it and isn't terribly upfront about his profession with most people though, funny enough, everyone he admits it to ends up being pretty accepting in the end.

Regardless, he's a guy who ran away from the mundane life he was living at the first chance he got, with little thought to the friends he left behind.

The story seems to follow a group of bitter, cynical people who, once they come together again, become slightly less bitter and cynical by the end. Martin, who thought himself completely detached from his past, finds himself leaving his life as a professional killer to stay with his old friends as opposed to the "friends" he made in his profession. His old love, clearly detached from her peers in her own way with similar reservations about attending the reunion, finds herself having a good time despite herself.

I can certainly relate to that detached feeling from my graduating class, my own 10 year reunion having just happened this past summer. I didn't attend, but I saw pictures form the event, and I honestly had no idea who most of those people were. I have plenty of reasons I could use to justify feeling bitter about my high school life, but bitterness is tiring, and I don't see any reason to dwell of people I don't know anymore, and barely knew at the time.

Anyway, I've neglected to mention that the movie features the occasional firefight, as people seek to kill Martin for one reason or another. Being a professional killer himself, he manages his way out of these situations just fine, with only a dozen people or so dying over the course of the movie. This is not an action film, however, and the fights never feel very tense or meaningful; they're simply annoying obstacles that Martin has to face on his journey to reconnect with his past.

In the end, the movie was kinda fun. It explored more about the feeling of disconnectedness from my hometown than any sort of relationship issues, but I think most good romantic comedies are not as much about romance as some other facet of humanity. The movie wasn't very surprising otherwise, though, and in the end's it's really just a quirky, slightly above average romantic comedy.

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