Saturday 15 December 2007

Grosse Pointe Blank - Don't kill anybody for a few days. See what it feels like

Writer / director George Armitage's 1997 release Grosse Pointe Blank is a gloriously witty and entertaining black comedy starring John Cusack as Martin Q. Blank, a professional assassin hired to carry out a hit in a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe. By coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.

Cusack has a talented supporting cast including Dan Aykroyd as a rival hitman Mr Grocer, Minnie Driver as Debi his former Highschool sweetheart, sister Joan Cusack as his administrator, and Alan Arkin as Dr Oatman, Martin's unwilling shrink.

John Cusack burst onto the screen in Rob Reiner's delightful 1985 romantic comedy road movie, The Sure Thing - something of prototype for When Harry Met Sally. Since that time the versatile Cusack has proved he can do Rom-com (Say Anything and Serendipity); Horror (1701 and Identity); Arthouse (Being John Malkovitch); Blockbuster (Con-Air) Thriller (Runaway Jury) and wry Comedy (High Fidelity and GPB).

If you like the High Fidelity soundtrack, you will love the music from Grosse Pointe Blank. The original soundtrack is a treasure trove of quality 80's music including The Clash, The Jam, Guns 'n ' Roses, The Specials and Bowie and Queen. A second helping of Grosse Pointe Blank was issued that contained some fine tunes by Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Pogues, Tones On Tail, The Pixies, Echo and The Bunnymen plus some of Punk icon Joe Strummer's score for the movie which is used to great effect in the film.

There are some truly magical scenes in the movie such as a particularly violent struggle between Blank and a rival hitman underscored by the Beat's Mirror in the Bathroom. An emotional scene with a school friend's baby uses Bowie and Queen's Under Pressure, while a tender moment between Martin and Debi features Pete Townsend's charming Let My Love Open the Door.

Normally I have an intrinsic dislike of soundtracks made of songs included to make a record company rich. Grosse Pointe Blank however is an exception because of the care and attention lavished on choosing the songs to reflect the era and how they mirror the action. If you've never seen or heard Grosse Point Blank or The Sure Thing ...shame on you!


Bobby Martini said...

I totally agree with you on GPB. I too don't normally rave about soundtrack featuring songs but this one is an exception. A superb selection that suits the film perfectly. Nice choice mate !

Fidel J. said...

It always seems to me that John Cusack doesn't get the recognition he deserves. Maybe its due to his choice of movies, dunno, but he always seems kinda in the neither realm of celebs, actors you know from many things but isnt so well known either. very odd, but thanks for the tunes, a fantastic soundtrack for a fantastic flick. =)