Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

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8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Cusack is likable to all

Nothing

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Grosse Pointe Blank

Studio:  Hollywood Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy/Action/Adventure/Romance

Release Date(s):  April 11, 1997

MPAA Rating:  R

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I just need to pick up some Jiffy-Pop and kill a guy

It is the tenth reunion and an assignment has brought Martin Q. Blank (John Cusack) home to the Detroit area.  Martin is a hitman and his recent assignments have put both the Feds and his fellow hitman Grocer (Dan Aykroyd) on his tail.  They say you can’t go home again, but Martin discovers that things in his hometown haven’t changed that much…including his love for his former girlfriend Debi Newberry (Minnie Driver).  It looks like it could be a bloody reunion.

Directed by George Armitage, Grosse Pointe Blank is an action comedy.  The movie was well received by critics and modest financial success.  Over the years, the movie has gained a bit of a cult following.

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You’re so sensitive. And you’re deadly.

I watched Grosse Pointe Blank right before my 20 year class reunion.  I hadn’t seen the movie but had heard good things about it.  The movie does a decent job capturing the weirdness of a class reunion while still having the fun of an action shoot-’em-up…plus, it mixes in some romance.

The story can go from surreal to action smoothly.  Cusack spends the whole movie introducing himself as a hitman to his former classmates…without people really picking up he’s telling the truth.  The meeting of the job and his real life kind of reminds me of how The Sopranos dipped between Tony’s life and his business.  It leads to some great shootouts which can satisfy people seeking action.

John Cusack is the king of this style of romance.  His deadpan nature makes him good for comedy but also makes him likable to both men and women.  Here, he’s matched with the also extremely likable Minnie Driver as his jilted prom date.  The movie also makes good use of Jeremy Piven as a high school friend, Dan Aykroyd as a rival hitman, Alan Arkin as Blank’s tortured psychiatrist, and Cusack’s own sister Joan Cusack as the woman who books his jobs.  It is a strong cast in a fun picture.

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I’m kind of like Ra’s Al Ghul…join my league of assassins!!!

The movie also smartly mixes style genres.  The movie didn’t go Hollywood by picking the Grosse Pointe suburb of Detroit and it gives it a Midwestern feel.  The shoot-outs are as good as any action movie, but the movie also feels like Cusack’s early work which often was high-concept comedies.

Grosse Pointe Blank is a good action comedy that has wide appeal to both female and male viewers.  It is one of those everyone can enjoy.  The movie War, Inc. (2008) is considered an unofficial sequel to this film due to similarities in set-up.  I’d actually like a sequel to Grosse Point Blank…it would be nice to have a thirty year reunion or a forty year reunion to see what happened to the characters…and I think both Cusack and Driver would be perfect in reprising the roles.

Buy it on Amazon.com or stream it now:

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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