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Movie:

four bullets

 

Depiction of Parker:

Three-and-a-half bullet holes

Parker’s name in film: Walker
Played by: Lee Marvin

I have gotten a lot of grief from you readers over the years for panning Point Blank.

What can I say?? You were right.

Let me state from the outset that watching the film in widescreen instead of an awful pan-and-scan VHS tape made a huge difference, as did quality audio.? And, as the film is pretty artsy, a second viewing helped a lot in terms of being able to absorb the movie and understand what the filmmaker was trying to do.

Although the setting and the characters have been altered radically from The Hunter, the skeleton is still there until almost the end.? Betrayed by his wife and his partner in crime, Parker pursues vengeance as far up the chain as he needs to. The variations are interesting–Stegman becomes a used car dealer, and Rose Leigh (Wanda) becomes Chris, Parker’s sister-in-law.? And, other than being a thief, Parker was actually a normal human being prior to being shot–it is the betrayal that turns him into a machine.

I don’t think I’m giving anything away when I write that I don’t think that Lee Marvin’s Parker is alive. I believe he’s an avenging spirit, something strongly hinted at but never stated outright.? This turns the money Parker seeks into a MacGuffin–it provides a reason for him to interact with, and annihilate, the objects of his wrath, but of course he has no use for it.

If you haven’t seen Point Blank, prepare to watch it twice.? If you’ve seen it once and didn’t like it, give it another chance.

My original review is below the embedded trailer.

Original Review

Movie:

two-bullet-holes

Depiction of Parker:

Three-and-a-half bullet holes

Parker’s name in film: Walker
Played by: Lee Marvin

I have a distinct minority opinion of this film. It is generally considered a classic, and one critic (who I don’t like and whose name I can’t remember) even placed it on his list of the top 100 American films of all time. I thought the plot was barely comprehensible, making it difficult to follow, the voice-overs were bad, and the twist ending was stupid and unnecessary.

However, the film has several excellent moments. A scene of Parker walking down a hallway and a scene in a nightclub are fantastic. Despite this, the film as a whole doesn’t add up to much.

Admittedly, the home video version of this film isn’t very well done. The pan-and-scan is awful, and the sound mastering is even worse. When Point Blank is released in a remastered and letterboxed version, as befits the classic it is supposed to be, I’ll watch it again, and perhaps I’ll like it better.

Lee Marvin makes a great Parker. He hasn’t got the looks to make women “feel vibrations above the nylons” and a scene where he takes Angie Dickinson out on a date is totally out of character. He also rarely speaks, used to great effect in the movie but different from the novel. However, in spirit, he is very close to the cold-blooded machine Stark intended the character to be.

Image Gallery for Point Blank

To Payback, the other movie based on The Hunter

To The Hunter