Point Blank (1967)
In this stern and hard-hitting thriller, John Boorman has abundances of artistic ambition, and tries to show it off through numerous rarely effective cross-cuts and a moody, offhandish narrative style. Although the film grows classier as it goes on, it remains too much in your face and too constructed to make a real impact. Lee Marvin stars as our numb protagonist who is out for revenge, directing his bitterness towards just about anyone. His performance could have been strong, had it evoked any feeling. Instead, it is Boorman who takes center stage, arguably seeking the same level of suspense which he created to magnetic effect with Deliverance a few years later. In Point Blank, the clever plot gives him tools to work with, but the suspense here is of a stylized and less palpable form. The influence from French new wave films is obvious, but unfortunately, it only materialized on the surface.