|Star:||John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Ackroyd, Alan Arkin, Hank Azaria|
|Cert / Year:||15 - R / 1997|
Thing's are starting to bother professional hitman Martin Blank. Business isn't too bad, but another hitman called Grocer, (Dan Ackroyd) is building a little union for hitmen/assasins, as a means to distribute their work, and avoid treading on other peoples toes and to increase the price for their services. But Martin, doesn't want to join this "assasins country club" much to the disappointment of Grocer. In addition, Martin is having difficulty concentrating on his work and is experiencing one or two little setbacks, his therapist (Alan Arkin) doesn't want to treat him, as he has issues with Martin's profession. Martin has also been having reocurring dreams of his ex-girlfriend and high school sweetheart, Debbie (Minnie Driver) whom he stood up at their High School Prom, in order to run off and join the army, (Pratt!) 10 years earlier. Martin's secretary, Marcella (Joan Cusack) becomes increasingly worried about him and harrasses Martin into taking a "job" near to his old home town of Grosse Pointe, which will coincide with Martin's 10 year High School Reunion, which she urges is determined for him to attend, as she feels that seeing all of his old friends and Debbie will be good for him.
But after 10 years, Martin is troubled by the prospect of seeing everyone again, especially Debbie who after being dumped at the Prom, is probably a little bitter. Upon arriving back at Grosse Pointe, he discovers Debbie is a DJ on the local radio station, his home has been torn down and a convenience store is now in it's place, his mother is now completely round the twist and in a mental institution, his drunk father is dead, the money that he had been sending his family over the years has disappeared, an freelance killer is after him for a little mistake with a prize winning dog, and his comrade-in-arms Grocer has sold him out to two government agents who are waiting for him to carry out the contract so that they can kill him. Could things possibly get any worse?........ Oh yeah.
I have to admit, Grosse Pointe Blank is not what I had expected. It is in fact a lot better than I had anticipated. The story is well written, and the film has some very good performances all round, and all framed by some memory provoking 80's music. Blank has a volley of explanations as to where he has been and what he has been doing for the last ten years, which are wide ranging to say the least and when he does tell one or two people what his real job is, their initial reactions are most amusing, including "Oh, good for you, it's a growth industry" to name but one, from an unlikely source. I am pleased to see Dan Ackroyd is his old funny self again, and John Cusack is surprisingly good as Martin Blank. Minnie Driver is, as always very watchable and adds wonderfully to this romantic comedy. I must mention the short but excellent performance of Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, as Felix La PuBelle, the Basque hitman out to kill Martin Blank, in a role which doesn't entirely highlight his real talent. Benny Urquidez is a former full contact martial arts champion with 200 professional wins and 0 losses under his belt. He was also the longest reigning World Champion in professional sports history, as well as the founder of Ukidokan Karate.
That aside, Grosse Pointe Blank is a very entertaining film and is good for a laugh, and I am just glad that we don't practice the 10 year reunion thing here in the UK.