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Movie Review: Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

Updated on June 15, 2020
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LJ Milan is a fan of movies since he was a kid. He loves them all, no matter the genre. Sometimes he just won't shut up about them.

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Information About The Movie

Starring: John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Alan Armin, and Dan Aykroyd.
Directed by: George Armitage.
Running time: 107 minutes.
Release date: April 11, 1997.

Synopsis

This movie follows a hitman named Martin Q. Blank. He is a depressed man, that is disillusioned with his work. His two previous jobs didn't go so well. His clients aren't pleased with it all, but in all honesty, neither is he with them. In addition to all that, another hitman named Grocer bugs him endlessly to join his "union" of hitmen. Which, of course, Martin has no intention of doing.


In all of that confusion, he gets an invitation to his ten-year high school reunion. Which his assistant is bugging him to go and he really doesn't like the idea. But when he accepts the job in his hometown, which is Detroit by the way, he changes his mind.

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My Review


This movie is one of my favorites, and although it's considered a cult classic today, I still don't hear people talking much about it. Or recommending it when someone asks for it. Which I think is a shame. This movie deserves to be talk about much more.


This film was directed by George Armitage, who did all together seven movies to date. And the last of them was in 2004. Two of those seven are considered a cult classics, this one and Miami Blues (1990).


I love this movie because of three aspects. The first philosophy one is that this film hinges on a dialogue. And all of them are masterfully written. Yes, that can be said for all the movies, but not like this one. Dialogues are chock filled with philosophy and higher thoughts any misstep and the whole house would fall down. Luckily, it didn't happen. And they made it easy for everyone to understand, it's not convoluted at all.


Considering his proclaimed profession that is really unexpected and even paradoxical. But that's what gave this movie that special umf that open my heart to it. Well, that and all that dark humor.

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The second aspect is the love story, between Debbie and Martin, or better said the importance of it not just to the movie, but Martin himself. We can freely say that this love story is the essence of the story. And it's a road to Martin's redemption, if not in the eyes, of others, then in his eyes.


Before I continue, let me digress a little. I love that so much that I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with the writers. In a world filled and inveterate with hate, especially in this day and age, our only road to redemption, now as much as before, is love. Complete, unconditional, and above all sincere love. Because all of us are flawed and sinful people. Especially towards other people, to some less, and then to some way, way more. And it doesn't matter how small, or in some cases large, our sins are, the only thing that is left for us is redemption.


The third aspect is Martin's battles with his personal demons. First with his depression, and then with his disillusion with his work. Of course that two demons are tightly bound with each other.


That profession, whether it's privately or state-oriented leaves inconceivable consequences on the human soul itself. It's not possible to be in that work too long and not have some consequences. No matter how many physiologists claim that some people can turn off the necessary parameters in the brain that prevents them from doing evil. But, evil is evil, it's cunning and opportunistic, it always finds a way to leave a mark on a human soul.


Anyways, they did a great job in writing that aspect of the story. We all know that he is not a good man, but we still find ourselves cheering for him. We want him to find peace with himself and get that elusive love he so much needs.

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John Cusack is one of my favorite actors. He is one of those actors that was in a million of good movies, like: Say Anything, City Hall, Con Air, High Fidelity, America's Sweethearts, Serendipity, Identity… And he was awesome in all of them. But this one is his best.


He played a depressed and disillusioned man that has had enough of, well pretty much, everything, perfectly. He convincingly related to us all the mental struggles his character goes through. That can be seen in his every movement and every expression on his face.


What to say about Minnie Driver? If we look at it superficially, I mean a woman hasn't aged a day in 23 years. Those virgin blood baths must of been working. But the most important part is that her acting was spot-on. She played her part with ease and confidence of a master. Her scenes with Cusack are best described as a dance. Sometimes she leads, sometimes he leads. But it's a dance that will leave you breathless.


About Dan Aykroyd, there are no words to describe him fully. The man is s Hollywood legend and with a good reason. While I was growing up you couldn't find a movie he wasn't in it. He was a superstar. He continues that in this movie. He geniusly played the big bad, who only wants the world of hitmen under his feet.



Grosse Pointe Blank - Trailer HD

Conclusion


This movie reminds me a lot of Quentin Tarantino movies, minus, of course, his blood fetish. It's a wonderfully done dark comedy that is full of sharp dialogue. And even better character development that will leave you sad that the movie is over.


This movie can also be viewed as a harsh criticism of today's society. Whether it's pill-popping or how we are turned into mindless drones by this consumer society. That they don't even have to force on us, it's pretty much welcomed by us. And in turn, we get depressed with it all. And that is beautifully done here. It's not just Martin that is depressed it's most of the characters.


This movie is a perfect character study of today's society. It has something for everybody. And I highly recommend it.

5 stars for Grosse Pointe Blank

© 2020 LJ Milan

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