Grosse Point Blank


‘…a fun, engaging film to keep the spirits up…’

Dark days require light relief, and Grosse Pointe Blank is a fun, engaging film to keep the spirits up as we walk together through the valley of death, or at least the potential wrecking ball the out-of-control virus is about to take to our communities. Meanwhile, in Hollywood….Martin Black (Cusack) is a troubled man, although even his shrink (Alan Arkin) isn’t too keen to engage with his neurosis. A dedicated hit-man, Blank falls out with his handler (Dan Aykroyd) before heading back to his suburban alma mater for his high school reunion.

Local DJ Debi (Driver) is still spinning her records at her main-street record shop, but she’s still smarting from being stood up on prom night. Can Martin Blank recover his mojo, win back his girlfriend, and survive a return to his high school, all the while fighting off various professional assassins? And what’s at stake here, really? Not much, other than whether Martin and Debi will get it together, but that’s the charm of Tom Jankiewicz’s script, loosely improvised by the cast.

Many 1990’s films are now rendered somewhat inconsequential by their reliance on fading star-power to deliver high-concept, low-gravity fare, but Grosse Pointe Blank catches most of the cast on an upswing, and leans into the irony that it’s a rom-com first and foremost and the killing-sprees are mainly there for decoration. It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it, and George Armitage’s film is that peculiar kind of movie confection that’s more about wish fulfilment than dealing with anything real. In short, it’s an ideal scenario that you return to high school for a reunion, and you’ve got the coolest job by far, a warm and cozy fantasy vindicated by the cartoonish, almost bloodless approach to assassinations shown here. The Reagan years were just fading, and there was still a no-questions asked approach to what anyone did for a living; Blank cheerfully tells his fellow graduates that he’s a killer and no-one turns a hair. Judgement wasn’t a professional sport back in these days.

Cusack and Driver are at their most charming here, but the whole cast are on the same page. Actions have consequences in real life, but movies offer an escape from that, and Grosse Pointe Blank looks back on a happier time when you could launch into over a dozen murders and still get the girl and walk off into the sunset with a happy tune from one of several soundtrack albums.



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  1. At the time i remember thinking it was too clever for its own good and I’ve never been a big fan of Minnie Driver but it was certainly enjoyable and twisted up a few preconceptions.

    • It’s a movie that seemed cool then, and seems cool now. All key elements present and correct.

    • I’m afraid the position of grammar Nazi has already been filled, but we’ll keep your application on file.

        • Certainly looks that way from watching tv…anything personable to say about this film?

          • I find the best way is to simply pretend none of it’s happening. Just turn off the TV, close the blinds, and loop Comfortably Numb.

            Of course I don’t have anything personable to say about this film. I wish I did. But, to cover up for that fact, I criticize your God awful grammar. Everyone knows how to use a comma – not everyone knows how to spell James Caan!

            • Sure, but it’s no real disguise for a lack of anything to say. I read pieces in CNN, BBC, there’s plenty of typos. Ignoring the low hanging and addressing the key thoughts behind the words is a bigger deal. I always take care to leave THE most carefully worded comments in other blogs.

              • What do you suggest I use instead? Something for all occasions – commenting on blogs, dinner parties, union meetings and such – would be useful. Seriously.

                Surely you hold yourself to a higher standard than CNN? And the BBC! Don’t get me started… Next you’ll be saying you see typos in The Sun.

                Sorry kid, but the low hanging is my expertise. And yes, you do leave your expert comments, but not everyone is as blessed as nobel Dix. If I ate as much sugar and crayons as you, perhaps I’d reach similar levels.

                • Have you seen this film? It’s good. Once you’ve seen it, you might come up with some opinions. Contact me if that happens.

                  I don’t have the editorial process that a major news-outlet does, but I do try to avoid typos if I can.

                  And I think, as ex-president Trump pointed out, it’s the NOBLE prize! Note the correct spelling! Use a dictionary!

                  • Where’s it available? On Prime? I don’t really want to spend money on it if it’s not worth it. What do you think I am, the Torygraph?

                    Are you the spelling Nazi now? I always get mixed up with my ‘l’s and my ‘e’s. See Alex’s quiz, which I believe I’m beating you in, where I call it Angle Fallen, not Angel Fallen. Yeah, I can admit to a mistake. Go heil that, you fascist!

  2. it’s weird, I saw this film and don’t remember some of the major stars being there! I must have been distracted. I was distracted in those heady 90s.

    • The 90’s are now like the Middle Ages, we have only the vaguest notions about what happened back before the internet. We can piece together a certain amount using cave-paintings and original artefacts like Luther Vandross CD’s, but no-one will ever really know.

    • I saw her perform at the Concert Hall in Glasgow, her album was pretty good! And yes, the 90’s, we didn’t know it but those were the good times…

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