Vantage Point (film)

Vantage Point (film)

Infobox Film
name = Vantage Point

image_size =
caption = Promotional film poster
director = Pete Travis
producer = Tania Landau
Ricardo del Río
writer = Barry Levy
starring = Dennis Quaid
Matthew Fox
Forest Whitaker
Sigourney Weaver
and William Hurt
Édgar Ramírez
Saïd Taghmaoui
Ayelet Zurer
music = Atli Örvarsson
cinematography = Amir Mokri
editing = Stuart Baird Sigvaldi J. Kárason Valdís Óskarsdóttir
distributor = Columbia Pictures
released = US 22 February 2008
UK 7 March, 2008
runtime = 90 minutes
country = United States
language = English, Arabic

budget = US$ 40,000,000
gross = US$150,814,590 [ Vantage Point (2008)] . Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 1 September 2008.]
website =
amg_id = 1:351487
imdb_id = 0443274

"Vantage Point" is a 2008 mystery thriller film from Columbia Pictures, written by Barry Levy and directed by Pete Travis. It stars Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker with Sigourney Weaver, Édgar Ramírez and William Hurt. It was released on February 22, 2008.


The film is set in Salamanca, Spain, but it was mostly filmed in Mexico; only some of the scenes were shot in Salamanca. United States President Henry Ashton (William Hurt) is participating in an anti-terrorism summit in Salamanca. Over a twenty-three-minute period, an assassination attempt on the President unfolds. The film loops through this period over and over, each time from the perspective of a different participant, adding a new piece to the larger puzzle with each loop.

Rex Brooks' perspective

The first perspective is that of television news producer Rex Brooks (Sigourney Weaver) who directs various "GNN" cameramen and news anchors as the President arrives. Just as the mayor of Salamanca finishes his speech and the President steps up to the podium, he is shot twice. An explosion in the distance soon follows, and a few minutes later the podium is destroyed by another explosion, affecting GNN's news reporter Angie (Zoé Saldana) and the cameraman; she is filmed lying apparently dead until an analyst, Grace, begs Rex to kill the feed.

Thomas Barnes' and Kent Taylor perspective

The second perspective is that of U.S. Secret Service agents Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid) and Kent Taylor (Matthew Fox). While the mayor is speaking, Barnes notices a moving curtain in a nearby building. Agents sent to investigate find a fan that they report had been left on. Barnes also spots Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker) with a video camera in the crowd. After the President is shot, Barnes tackles a man rushing the podium, who is then dragged off by other agents. Barnes and Taylor run up to Lewis. Barnes insists on viewing the footage on Lewis' video camera. Barnes is fairly sure that he spotted the shooter in one of the windows and Lewis says he thinks he might have caught the assassin on tape. Taylor offers to pursue the assassin alone, offering to protect Barnes from any blame for failing to spot the assassin in time. Taylor goes off in pursuit as Barnes continues to review Lewis' footage. Barnes sees something that alerts him to a possible bomb under the podium and starts running but is unable to alert anyone in the chaos. Once the podium is destroyed in the resulting explosion, Barnes catches sight of a GNN cameraman, and heads for the news network's mobile control room. He barges into the production room and orders Brooks to show him their footage. While the crew assists Barnes, Barnes talks by phone to Taylor, who reports being in hot pursuit of the suspect and in need of immediate assistance. Barnes attempts to reach the Secret Service temporary command center (with call sign "Control"), but does not get a response. Barnes, watching one of the live GNN camera feeds, catches sight of something which shocks him. He exits the van hurriedly.

Enrique's perspective

This is followed by the perspective of Enrique (Eduardo Noriega), a Spanish police officer assigned to protect the Salamanca mayor. He spots his girlfriend (Veronica) being embraced by a stranger (Javier) and overhears them speaking about a meeting under a nearby underpass. When he confronts her, she assures him in Spanish that she loves him and him alone. She then asks if he has brought her bag and Enrique nods and hands it over. When the President is shot, Enrique rushes onto the stage to protect the mayor and is tackled by Agent Barnes. As he is in Secret Service custody, Enrique watches his girlfriend toss the bag he gave her under the podium. Realizing that there must have been a bomb in the bag, he breaks custody and starts running to the underpass that he heard about earlier while Secret Service agents attempt to recapture him but fail to do so while chasing him through several buildings. His scene ends as he confronts someone at the underpass, asking if they are surprised to see him still alive. As with the previous scenes, the viewer is not shown the "surprise element".

Howard Lewis' perspective

The next perspective is that of Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker), an American tourist who thinks he’s captured the shooter on his video camera while recording the event for his family back home. While waiting for the president to speak, he makes small talk with a man named Sam and is accidentally bumped into by a little girl named Ana, causing her ice cream cone to fall to the ground. He apologizes in Spanish and offers to buy her a new one, but her mother declines. He notices one of the Secret Service agents, Agent Barnes, looking at a window and aims his camera at it before pointing it at the podium again. After the president is shot, he stands and films the pandemonium while the crowd flees. Barnes runs up to him and asks to see the film in Lewis' video camera, they both see a woman throw a bag under the podium, which is what alerted Barnes in his scene. After the bomb explodes, he picks up Ana, who has lost her mother, while chasing Enrique and the pursuing agents. Dropping Ana off with a female Spanish police officer, Lewis continues to run after Enrique. Lewis is standing on the pedestrian overpass when pursuing Secret Service agents fire in Enrique's direction and Enrique collapses, mortally wounded. A single policeman approaches the fallen Enrique from the other direction and crouches down beside him. Lewis then spots Ana, who has run away from the police officer, standing at the edge of the very busy road that runs under the overpass. She sees her mother on the other side and starts to run toward her, much to Lewis' horror. As an ambulance is seconds away from running Anna over, Lewis runs out on to the street to save her, ending his perspective.

President Ashton's perspective

The scene moves on to the perspective of the "real" President Ashton. Unknown to the public and GNN, and initially to the film audience, it is a body double of the president that has been shot. Having been informed of a credible assassination threat, he had been returned to his hotel and was waiting for his double to give his speech. During the return to the hotel, the president's advisor, Phil McCullough, advocates an attack on a supposedly related terrorist camp in Morocco. Watching on television, Ashton sees his double walk to his seat and says comically, "He doesn't even look like me." Ashton is upset when he sees that Tom Barnes, who had been shot saving him from a previous assassination attempt, is being put out front to test his recovery. Shortly after, the body double is shot, much to the surprise of the president and his advisors. The immediate reaction of his advisors is to coordinate with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to authorize the camp attack. The president refuses this, citing the fact that he is supposed to be "dead" at that moment, saying that America use the present circumstances to invoke the sympathy of the world. At that moment, the distant explosion that we had previously heard, is revealed to us as a bomb exploded in the lobby of the president's hotel. Seconds later, a masked assailant bursts into the president's room and kills his guards and advisors; this ends the president's scene.

The terrorist plan

The final perspective is that of the terrorists, beginning with their leader, Suarez (Saïd Taghmaoui), shown earlier in the film as Sam, the native that Lewis spoke to in a friendly conversation. The conversation was merely a way for Suarez to hide in the crowd and draw any potential attention away from him. The assassination attempt on the double was an elaborate ruse, done by remote control using an automated rifle. The rifle was retrieved by Secret Service agent Taylor (Taylor tells Barnes that he's going to check the rooms for the assassin). Barnes sees him on the live feed from the GNN camera, leaving the scene in a Spanish policeman's uniform. Clearly, Taylor had lied to Barnes, to whom he had been talking on his cellphone. Meanwhile, Javier (Edgar Ramirez), the assassin who has made his way into President Ashton's room (and who is working for the terrorists only because his brother is being held hostage), leads Ashton to the elevator, where Ashton is drugged into unconsciousness and quietly loaded into an ambulance. Javier joins Taylor in a police car; but Barnes commandeers another car and carries out a car chase through Salamanca. Previously, Enrique spotted his girlfriend (Veronica) being embraced by Javier. In the terrorist's perspective, we learn that Javier was not embracing Veronica, but he was handling her very roughly and with anger after learning that she (along with her partner) was holding his brother hostage. Veronica plays this off as a loving embrace.

After shaking off Barnes, Enrique confronts Javier and Taylor, only to be shot by Javier when he learns his brother is not to be returned. Javier is shot by Barnes and finished off by Taylor, after being informed of his brother's murder. Taylor crashes his car while attempting to escape from Barnes, and is fatally injured. At the same time, Ashton comes to in the ambulance and tries to take out his captors by hitting Veronica in the head with a pole, distracting them as the little girl, Ana, walks in front of the ambulance. Suarez swerves and the ambulance falls on its side just as Lewis pulls Ana out of the way. Veronica is killed instantly in the crash and Suarez, who has survived, tries to shoot them, but Barnes kills him. Ashton is then rescued by Barnes again.

The film concludes with Lewis talking on the phone with his wife and kids and the audience discovers that this elaborate plot is not going to be made public. Instead, according to a news report shown at the end of the movie, the whole mess is caused by a "lone assassin" who has been shot and killed.


With an initial planned release date of February 15, 2008, filming began June 18, 2006 in Mexico City, Mexico. [cite news | url= | publisher=Variety | title=Vantage Point]

In an interview on the February 19, 2008 episode of "Good Morning America", Dennis Quaid described the film as a "Rashomon", a reference to the 1950 Akira Kurosawa film "Rashomon" that pioneered this method of film-making.


*Dennis Quaid as Thomas Barnes
*Matthew Fox as Kent Taylor
*Forest Whitaker as Howard Lewis
*Bruce McGill as Phil McCullough
*Edgar Ramirez as Javier
*Said Taghmaoui as Suarez
*Ayelet Zurer as Veronica
*Zoe Saldana as Angie Jones
*Sigourney Weaver as Rex Brooks
*William Hurt as President Ashton
*James LeGros as Ted Heinkin
*Eduardo Noriega as Enrique
*Richard T. Jones as Holden
*Holt McCallanyas Ron Matthews
*Leonardo Nam as Kevin Cross
*Dolores Heredia as Marie


Critical reception

Vantage Point has received mixed reviews from critics. As of August 16, 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 35% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 147 reviews. [cite web|url= |title=Vantage Point - Movie Reviews, Trailers, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes |accessdate=2008-08-16 |publisher=Rotten Tomatoes] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 40 out of 100, based on 32 reviews. [cite web|url= |title=Vantage Point - Movie Reviews, Trailers, Pictures - Yahoo! Movies |accessdate=2008-08-16 |publisher=Yahoo! Movies] Michael Phillips, of the "Chicago Tribune" said of "Vantage Point" and Stuart Baird, "Editor Stuart Baird must've been paid by the cut: Simple five-second action beats are often sliced into three or four separate, panicky shots." [ [ Vantage Point - Critics Review - Excite Movies ] ]

Box office performance

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $22.8 million in 3,149 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #1 at the box office. [cite web|url= |title=Vantage Point (2008) - Weekend Box Office Results |accessdate=2008-02-25 |publisher=Box Office Mojo] Box office total is now $72 million with a worldwide gross of almost $151 million [ [ Vantage Point (2008)] , Box Office Mojo, and [ Vantage Point - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information] , The Numbers. Retrieved 1 September 2008.] .

ee also

*Assassinations in fiction


Further reading

*cite news|first= Tara|last= DiLullo Bennett|title= Vantage Point: Old School Meets New School|url=|work= VFXWorld|publisher= Animation World Network|date= 2008-02-25|accessdate= 2008-03-06

External links

* [ Official site]
* [ "Vantage Point"] at The Numbers
* [ Mosaic] at
* [ Official world wide release dates] with links to different national sites.
* [ Vantage Point] Full Production Notes

Box Office Leaders USA
before = Jumper
date = February 24
year = 2008
after = Semi-Pro

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