50/50 Review #46: Grosse Pointe Blank.

Blah blah blah ambiguous intro here... why haven't I seen this movie before now? Martin Blank (John Cusack) is a professional assassin who once worked for the government and now works freelance. After screwing up a hit, the company that hired him forces him to take another job to make up for it, which just so happens to be back in his hometown... where his 10-year high school reunion is taking place. With a little push from his secretary Marcella (Joan Cusack) and kinda-psychiatrist, Dr. Oatman (Alan Arkin), he decides to go and face his past. While there he meets up with an old friend, Paul (Jeremy Piven) and a long-lost love, Debi (Minnie Driver), who he stood up at prom and never saw again until now. Unfortunately, things aren't that easy. Another hitman, Grocer (Dan Aykroyd) wants to start an assassin's union that Martin refuses to join, so he hires a couple FBI agents (Hank Azaria and K. Todd Freeman) to catch him in the act to take him down. Meanwhile, another assassin (Benny Urquidez) is after him because of another previous hit he screwed up. And all Martin wants to do is make amends with Debi.

I'll just come out and say it: Easily in my Top 5 of this year's project. This movie was so much fun. The dark humor between the situations is great, which really shined in the climax where he's killing people in between a heartfelt discussion. And I loved the fact he literally tells everybody he's a contract killer the entire movie and nobody believes him. Just the idea alone that a guy who grows up to be an assassin decides to go to his high school reunion is fantastic.

This movie really works due to John Cusack's charisma and delivery. You believe his moral and/or psychological conflicts, but at the same time he's able to pull off the fact he could easily kill someone. And his little ticks, like never liking his back to an open area or a window was great. Similarly, Dan Aykroyd as the villain was totally unexpected, but it worked, since he was totally trying to be a smarmy businessman at the same time. Jeremy Piven wasn't in it a whole lot, but I loved his scenes and his chemistry with Cusack. Arkin is good in his role, of course, though his role is technically where the film falls apart a little bit. And Joan Cusack's character was a little hard to get into at the start, but she grew on me by the end. And Minnie Driver was just incredibly adorable in this film and had great chemistry with John Cusack, as well.

This is one of those "really positive... not much to say" kind of reviews. I really liked everything about it. The comedy was good--I did laugh out loud at least once. The action was solid and fun when there was some. The characters were really good. And the soundtrack to this movie was also pretty dang fantastic. I know this was kind of a lame review, but that's what tends to happen when you love a movie and don't have much to say without getting repetitive or boring. If you haven't seen it yet, do so.

Rating System.
Royale With Cheese

(P.S. And that will wrap it up for Jess' Month! Got to end on a high note, huh? This month was scattered. There were low points (Out of Africa--good movie, just not for me), high points (this and High Fidelity... ironic), and mid-points (Star Trek: First Contact). But on the whole, it was quite an enjoyable month! And next month we wrap things up with 3 flicks that are actually a trilogy... and then the original version of a modern American classic. So for December, it'll be Kai's Month!)


  1. No one ever talks about this film, which is a shame -- it's fantastic. Easily my favorite John Cusack film.

  2. I know! I'd of course heard of it (though the only think I knew about it was John Cusack as an assassin). But why don't people talk about this more?

  3. I'm going to fall in line here and share the sentiment that more people should talk about this movie. I'm a bit of a Cusack fan so I tend to watch anything he's in (hell I even like Serendipity). Grosse Pointe Blank, though, it just a real fun movie and I loved it when I ran across it many years ago. I'd definitely recommend this one. Ranks right up there with High Fidelity for me (which I loved as well).


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.