John Cusack is one of those actors with whom you can always rely on a good performance and one of his best was in this 1997 action/comedy Grosse Pointe Blank.
Martin Blank is a hit man stuck in a career rut when his 10-year high school reunion gives him the chance to rekindle an old flame and pull off one final job. Things are looking up until his arch-rival joins the party, aiming to blow the competition away.
What starts out as a standard hitman story turns into a fun look at relationships and if going back to the past is really a good thing or not. Cusack is fabulous a Martin Blank an assassin with a conscience and one who visits his unwilling therapist every week ( a great cameo by Alan Arkin) to try and come to terms with his problems. The film has a great supporting cast, from Minnie Driver as his long lost love who he jilted on prom night and also Dan Aykroyd who is suitable crazy as his hitman rival.
As well as the well-handled comedy interplay there is some great action with exciting gunfights and a brutal hand to hand battle with kickboxing champ Benny Urquidez who actually is John Cusack’s trainer in Hollywood. Top it off with a fantastic soundtrack this is one of the best of its kind to come out of Hollywood in the 90’s.
The Blu ray release by Universal can only be described as a disappointment. While the picture is clean and free of debris it is also has a lot of edge enhancement and halos. The 1080p picture just looks soft and a bit bland, it certainly a step up from the DVD but you would have hoped Universal would have given it better treatment. The sound is fabulous with the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 really giving it a solid presentation. You also get French and Spanish dubbed options in stereo. Extra’s too are lacking, All you get is the theatrical trailer nothing more.
I still recommend this upgrade if your a fan of this very cool film, it’s just a pity that the company releasing it does not seem to agree that it deserves more.
FILM: 8.5 PICTURE: 6 AUDIO: 8 EXTRAS: 1