This is ground zero for the metaphysical action thriller, and one of the most genuinely visionary fusions of art and pulp ever made. Brutally poetic in its use of non-linear editing, dreamlike color, ironic sound design, spare dialogue and decor, every scene throws up a dozen potential readings even as they thrill on a visceral level. It's haunting watching the primal Walker clog up an inhuman consumerist world
Note to Nolan: this is how you do a cut-up action thriller, hitting the reliable beats in an altered state of consciousness. It quickly reorients you every time it threatens to become too abstract, and the drive for money/revenge/etc. that's merely a plot device in most movies turns into real thematic weight about alienation and the flow of capital. Also, it gets it done in 90 minutes. Another note to Nolan.
It is the elliptical editing(the past and the present colliding ) that really gives this structurally formulaic revenge movie it's modernist- or perhaps confounding - bent. He starts in the prison hearing voices. His wife hears his footsteps coming towards her. What'll he even do with the money? Will he even get it? "Well i'm not gonna give you any money and nobody else will" What was it all for then ?
Though Westlake would not give the ok to use the Parker name, director John Boorman and Lee Marvin are the only ones out of the many adaptations of The Hunter to get the essence of Parker right. When you hear Marvin's heavy footfalls echo through an empty corridor, you pray it's not you he's looking for. The real deal.
To be honest, I'm not a fan of the ending. I felt it was less engaging for an excellent premise. But overall, POINT BLANK is an exciting crime-thriller. I would never forget the scene that involved the sound of Lee Marvin's footstep. I felt it was able to increase the aura of suspense. Not to mention, that astonishing editing. It has some sort of a dreamlike feeling. Kinda reminds me to some Alain Resnais' movies...
Copied by countless inferior movies (Ryan Gosling and Winding Refn in the overrated, pointless Drive, etc.) Dreamlike, experimental editing in sound and visuals (Metrocolor Panavision widescreen compositions) in psychedelic 1967 California juxtaposed with Lee Marvin's most complex performance. John Boorman's best film was clearly influenced by Alain Resnais' explorations of memory and time in Hiroshima Mon Amour.
Here we see Lee Marvin as the craven Mr. Walker, a man who "chases shadows" (a.k.a. $93,000 in cash; what's the difference?), and eventually recedes back into them. The film also utilizes brilliant juxtaposition of sound and image and one of the more poetically accurate depictions of the processes of subjective memory I've ever seen.
This film elegantly paints the impotence of a man who's nothing but a gun, trapped in a nihilistic asphalt jungle reigned by men who are nothing but money and, though it showcases Boorman's gift for creating ridiculously implausible female characters ( a gift that would fully flourish years later in Zardoz), it also shows his brilliance using images to communicate that which is too raw to be put into words.