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Point Man

USA 2018
produced by
Phil Blattenberger, Joe W Nowland, Branden Cobb, Rick Anicetti (executive), Benjamin J. Ditty (executive), David Ferrel (executive), Dan Black (executive) for MBG Films, Lost Galleon Pictures, Hawk9 Productions, Starring Entertainment
directed by Phil Blattenberger
starring Christopher Long, Jacob Keohane, Chase Gutzmore, Marcus Bailey, Matthew Ewald, Cody Howard, William Shannon Williams, Paul de Havilland, Bryan Bachman, James Roseman, Acorye' White, Joe W Nowland, Triston Dye, John Charles Harnett, Simon Poppelreiter, Perry Balentine, Michael P. Walker, Marianne del Gallego, Luke Hicks, Jimmy Ace Lewis, Oun Bi, Oussa Suos, Lance Parker, Jeff Williams, Branden Cobb, Timothy Weal, Bridger Trent, Adam Brudnicki, Matthew Sara, Zander Krenger, Gabe Bermudez, Jason Damico, Michael Lee, Julian Morgan, Phil Blattenberger, Kathy Huynh, Jinna Kim, Kimberly Bui, Adeline Bui
written by Phil Blattenberger, music by AEO Studios

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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It's 1968, times of racial tensions and civil unrest in the USA, especially after the assassination of Martin Luther King jr ... but we're in Vietnam, where black and white Marines are supposed to fight side by side against the common enemy, the Vietcong - theoretically at least, practically it's still a fact that the whites get the better weapons, the blacks the less desirable positions in whatever squadron - including point man.

For their latest mission, Lieutnant Sutter's (Matthew Ewald) platoon is to track down and if possible save the Bravo platoon that went missing in action a few days ago - and in their first confrontation with the enemy, Casper (Christopher Long), Meeks (Jacob Keohane), Joe (Chase Gutzmore) and Felix (Marcus Bailey) get cut off from the rest of their platoon, which would be bad enough, but what's more is that Meeks is a confessing racist, and his brothers in arms are all black. So the tensions are there from the get-go, but it only gets worse when they actually manage to track down part of Bravo platoon - when they're about to execute some civilians ... which is where Casper blows a fuse, and he mows down the Bravo Marines instead. Everybody's in shock, but Casper proves to them that at least his heart is in the right place, and soon enough Joe finds himself shooting a Marine who tries to rape a civilian. Of course, this gets the four of them into a difficult situation, but while the others agree to stick together, Meeks soon finds a way to get away to save his own hide ... but he only runs into a Vietcong ambush, and it wasn't for his black comrades, he would have been executed as well. But it's war, and since nobody can trust anybody anymore, Meeks makes up more and more plans to get out of the skerfuffle he's in, even if that leaves not only his comrades but also him in a worse position ...

 

Low budget this movie might be, but it's also a very nice war movie that's based less on spectacle and explosions (though there are those) and more on the actual psychodrama that war actually is, which also includes the bare fact that patriotism just isn't the same for everybody, and wearing a uniform, however deserved, doesn't save you from racism. But the film brings all of this across in a subtle way - and that's not saying it veils its "message" in a ton of metaphors, quite the opposite's the case, but it really puts the story over everything else, and really enjoys telling its story in a well-structured and well-paced way. And a directorial effort getting the most out of its locations, and solid performances from all involved make this one a really great watch!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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