Review: Mackie, Grillo connect in gritty, fun 'Point Blank'

A nurse and a criminal are forced to team up in juiced action thriller

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic
Frank Grillo and Anthony Mackie in "Point Blank."

You know how it goes: a job goes wrong, someone gets shot, and the next thing you know you're brawling in a car wash. 

Except that's not how it usually goes, which is one way "Point Blank" stands out as not-your-average B-movie.

Anthony Mackie stars as Paul, a nurse who winds up in over his head when a patient, Abe (Frank Grillo) comes under his care. 

Turns out Abe is involved in some rather nasty business, and his brother wants him out of the hospital. So thugs kidnap Paul's pregnant wife and order Paul to escort Abe safely from the hospital, or else.

It's a rather conventional action premise that director Joe Lynch (2017's wildly fun "Mayhem") spruces up at every turn. 

When Paul hits the medical supply room to pack a bag full of meds, the camera spins around the center of the room while Grandmaster Flash's "The Message" boom baps over the soundtrack. The old school hip-hop streak continues as the aforementioned car wash brawl is cut to Oran "Juice" Jones' "The Rain."

Later in the film, we meet the head of a crime syndicate, "Big D" (Markice Moore), who is hellbent on teaching his subordinates there's more to movies than "Scarface." "This is the real (expletive). FRIEDKIN!" he exclaims, during a screening of "To Live and Die in L.A." (Lynch is clearly wearing his influences on his sleeve.)  

Mackie and Grillo, both Marvel veterans — Mackie is Falcon, Grillo is S.H.I.E.L.D. agent gone bad Brock Rumlow — have a rough, gritty chemistry together, as their character dynamic shifts over the course of the film.

Director Lynch, remaking 2010's "Point Blank" (and no relation to the 1967 version), keeps things juiced throughout, even as a dirty cop storyline clouds the narrative. Still, "Point Blank" is true to Lynch's style, and is the type of movie Big D might one day proudly screen for his crew.


'Point Blank'


Not rated: Violence, language, mayhem

Runtime: 86 minutes

On Netflix