I do love a good cult classic movie. You know, those movies that are not super blockbusters but everyone has seen. But there is more to it than that. A good cult classic is one of those movies that can develop an almost rabid following. Rocky Horror Picture Show is probably the best example of this, with all of the people that dress up for the showings and make it an interactive viewing experience that is greater than the movie itself. But not every cult classic has that extreme of a following. Some of those movies, like today’s movie Grosse Pointe Blank, are just great movies that people to enjoy watching.
The plot: Martin Blank is a professional assassin who is becoming depressed and bored with his work. When one of his best clients becomes upset over some botched assassinations, he is forced to take an assignment in his old hometown of Grosse Pointe. The timing also coincides with his 10 year high school reunion, which both his secretary and psychologist believe that he should go to. When he gets into town, he looks up his old girlfriend Debi, who is now a radio DJ, and runs into some other old friends before heading home only to find out that his home has been turned into an Ultimart and his mom is in a nursing home. But high school friends are not the only people looking for Martin. Grocer, a rival assassin who was trying to recruit Martin into his newly formed “union”, has set up Martin to be killed by two NSA agents after the hit is complete. There is also another assassin, Felix LaPoubelle, who is trying to kill Martin due to his involvement in the death of a dog during a previous job. Felix attacks Martin at the Ultimart and tries to kill him by leaving a bomb, but Martin manages to escape and save the clerk as well. Martin goes back to talk to Debi and manages to patch things up with her and agree to go to the reunion together. At the reunion, Martin socializes with his former classmates and believes that his reconnecting with Debi could mean a start to a new life. Felix attacks Martin in the school and Martin is forced to kill him, which horrifies Debi and shocks his friend Paul, who aids Martin in disposing of the body. When Debi confronts Martin later that night, she rejects his rationalization for what he does and storms off. Feeling dejected, Martin decides to look at the file on his target and realizes that Debi’s father is the target. When Grocer decides to kill the target himself, Martin winds up saving Debi’s father due to his love for Debi. After Martin manages to kill Grocer and his men, he and Debi wind up leaving Grosse Pointe together.
Grosse Pointe Blank was well received by the critics, earning a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Many of them praised the chemistry between John Cusack and Minnie Driver. However, while Roger Ebert praised the dialogue in the movie, he wished for a better ending. The film would only wind up making little over $28 million at the box office, which was almost twice as much as the $15 million budget. The movie did have a great soundtrack, a mix of songs from the mid 80’s, that actually sold well enough to warrant a second soundtrack to be released later that year.
This is such a great movie. The writing in this movie was great, with a lot of fast and witty dialogue, especially between John Cusack and Dan Aykroyd. To be honest, I think this was one of the last movies starring Aykroyd where he was really funny. The fight scenes were pretty good, especially when you consider that John Cusack is not known for his action role status. The plot was pretty basic, and could have had a little more depth to it but the dialogue did help with that. A fun movie and definitely worth watching.
Rating: 4 out of 5