Mackie plays the “everyman” nurse role here, Abe, roped into a violent tussle between Frank Grillo’s crook, Paul, and a sneering sect of dirty cops. Paul is both shot and hit by an oncoming car while being framed for the murder of a beloved D.A., winding up in Abe’s hospital. Paul’s semi-hapless brother, Mateo (Christian Cooke), kidnaps Abe’s “ready to pop” pregnant wife (Dear White People’s Teyonah Parris), and forces Abe to help a very injured Paul escape the hospital and…we’re off to the races.
Tonally, Point Blank stumbles slightly. Overall, its greatest sin is that it’s just plain underwhelming, but mixed into all this is a meager attempt to create an Odd Couple buddy movie that hearkens back to ’80s flicks – complete with sans context song cues for action scenes, like Oran “Juice” Jones’ “The Rain,” Grandmaster’s Flash’s “The Message”, and an extremely bizarre prompt for ABC’s “The Look of Love.” Normally, these would create a humorous-slash-ironic juxtaposition, but there’s absolutely no comedy present here aside from these songs. Not one wave of witty banter. Abe and Paul’s volleys never transcend past “Shut the f*** up!”/”No, you shut the f*** up!”
It’s also hard to have fun and let go while watching any of this because kidnapping (and knocking around) a pregnant woman, who starts to go into labor, is a really intense thing that grievously grates up against any attempt to unleash a loosey-goosey vibe. Abe is rightfully panicked the entire time because he’s scared out of his mind that he’s going to lose his wife and his unborn son. Naturally, Paul is the antihero here and has no intention of hurting her, but that fact is never convincingly explained to Abe.
Plus, halfway through, she gets taken by some really bad people and it just ups the anxiety. Sure, the pregnancy adds a unique element, and some of the best bits here happen during the moments when she fights back and gets to be more than just distressed, but the stakes are too high to allow for lighter moments. Point Blank goes through all the standard beats. The twist isn’t a twist and there’s never a moment when you feel like the film will give you anything except a neat and happy ending.