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Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

  Directed by: George Armitage
Written by: John Cusack, D.V. DeVincentis, Tom Jankiewicz, Steve Pink
Starring: Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Hank Azaria, Joan Cusack, John Cusack, Minnie Driver
Links: Grosse Pointe Blank on the IMDb, Buy on DVD, Buy on Video, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) is also mentioned in mino's review of High Fidelity (2000), em_fiction's review of Say Anything (1989) and mino's review of The Big Hit (1998).

"Not a miss" - a review by em_fiction

Martin Blank (John Cusack) is your average fellow. Well, apart from the fact that he makes a living out of being a professional hitman. His next assignment just happens to be located in his hometown, at the time of his old high school's ten-year reunion. While in town, he is reunited with several old friends, one of which happens to be the girl Blank stood up ten years ago at his high school prom. Debi (Minnie Driver) now works as the town's local radio star, and Blank soon realises that dodging bullets is much easier than getting a second chance.

Grosse Pointe Blank is a pleasing little film. Blank is a highly intelligent character who's made out to believe that his job is Mickey Mouse, just like any other job. His belief that what he does is legitimate almost makes him oblivious to the fact that it is actually not as 'everyday' as he believes. Guided by his secretary (Joan Cusack) and intimidated shrink (Alan Arkin), Blank is surprisingly very open to everyone about his career in "professional killing". Despite this proclamation always causing either a fearful or sarcastic stir, it never seems to bother Blank; if anything, he takes it as a compliment.

George Armitage's lighthearted approach to the subject of hitmen, while sneaking in a hint of romantic comedy, is very effective. The script maintains good humour and engrossment as it combines different subjects (hitmen, long lost loves and hometowns) to create this one colourful amalgam. It's essentially a comedy — there's no denying that, but it's definitely one of the more intelligent comedies, ones that consistently lets off genuine humour. As a matter of fact, there was something lurking in the conversations that kept reminding me of Kevin Smith's films.

I think I've spoken enough about Cusack in my Say Anything (1989) review, so I'll just be brief here: the guy is absolutely ace in this. Smart, sharp, charismatic and articulate with a good sense of humour — this role was made for him. Minnie Driver is also quite good, although I can't say her casting in this was as ideal as in Good Will Hunting (1997), but at least it still worked. Dan Aykroyd and Hank Azaria also make some great appearances.

This isn't an unforgettable film, it does come with its flaws. I couldn't help noticing various moments where the film kind of dragged on a bit. Some moments were a lot less interesting than others, and the ending itself wasn't spectacular. But, even for a film that marginally overstays its welcome, Grosse Pointe Blank presents some delightful comedy, handled tastefully by a fantastic actor.

em_fiction gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 21 Jul 2004

Movie review statistics

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