Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.
Martin Blank is a freelance hitman who starts to develop a conscience, which causes him to muff a couple of routine assignments. On the advice of his secretary and his psychiatrist, he attends his 10th year High School reunion in Grosse Pointe, Michigan (a Detroit suburb where he's also contracted to kill someone). Hot on his tail are a couple of over-enthusiastic federal agents, another assassin who wants to kill him, and Grocer, an assassin who wants him to join an "Assassin's Union." Written by
The goon stalking Martin Blank is 'Benny "The Jet" Urquidez', a world-champion kickboxer who was also John Cusack's kickboxing instructor. See more »
The drinks on the table after Martin rearranges them. See more »
Ya sure Oregon doesn't ring a bell? The Pacific Northwest, couple of months ago? Something about you doin' some wonderdog named Cujo...
Martin Q. Blank:
Ah, *Budro*, yes, Budro, Jesus Christ! Yeah, I was out there tryin' to whack these junk bond fuckos and these idiots were flushing game with sticks of dynamite! And the dog that they borrowed, little Budro, was a retriever, get it? Budro was never a target, Budro was acting on instinct. I would never hurt an animal and I'm offended at the accusation...
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Before you watch this movie, realize that this is an absurdist movie much like Dr. Strangelove or Catch-22. It laughs at something that is very serious, and as such the humor may not appeal to everyone.
That aside, this is John Cusack at his best. I never really appreciated his other movies, but this one he pulls off with finesse. John Cusack plays hit-man Martin Blank, a professional and effective assassin who is down on his luck after some hits gone wrong. His secretary, Joan Cusack, tells him his High School reunion is coming up, which he absolutely does not want to attend. After he is given what may be his final hit there, and is already set up to go, he returns to his home town of Grosse Pointe, which is outside of Detroit. There resides his former love, Minnie Driver, whom he stood up at the prom and disappeared from town.
You catch about half the humor the first time around, and you'll catch the rest the second time. Most of the humor is very good, especially near the end. A lot of the humor is based on the absurdity of the moment, like the school bully reading poetry after Blank confuses him, Blank threatening his psychiatrist whom he drives crazy by threatening, the convenience store cashier playing Doom II oblivious to all hell breaking lose around him (there's double irony to that statement if you've actually played a Doom game), or Grocer (Dan Aykroyd) menacing Blank with his gun concealed in a brown paper bag, as Blank menaces Grocer with his gun concealed under a napkin. Some of the humor does fall flat, like Blank telling people he is an assassin and them shrugging it off as a joke (it gets old after a while).
The line 'It's not me.' is way overused, but makes a glorious comeback as the final shootout begins.
All the actors do a wonderful job, but could be better. Minnie Driver is convincing but nowhere near the caliber of the other actors, who fit their roles seemlessly. Her role is well scripted, but could be much better since they do a horrible job of transitioning her from hatred of Blank to Puppy love of Blank. Aykroyd fits his role especially well as the neurotic hit-man, and John Cusack is absolutely convincing as Blank.
My only real qualm is that there are a lot of unanswered questions. By the end we still don't know Blank's life story, We don't know what happened to his mother, we don't really know what the hit on the final target (I won't reveal who) is all about, and we don't really know what the feds are trying to do (are they on Gorcers side?, do they want to catch both?, what is their purpose really?).
Other than that, it's a solid movie that, while not for everyone, is well executed and hilariously funny.
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