Imagine an episode of 24 where you see the same thing happening over and over again from a different viewpoint. Each time you see a new view, you get an extra piece of information, fleshing out the story, telling you what really happened. A bit like Rashomon. The pitch for Vantage Point is not what is wrong with it. Not completely. The problem with seeing the same thing from a different viewpoint is that, on the whole, you are seeing the same thing over and over again. There might be a few new interesting tidbits to flesh the story out, but realistically, its just repetition. To make it work you will probably need to invest in the characters with each of these viewpoints, and a clever storyline which allows this teasing out.

Vantage Point is 24 meets Rashomon with no interesting characters, a plot so mind-bogglingly stupid that showing it over and over again really does expose its flaws. Look, this Japanese poster makes the 24 rip even more explicit. Its going to be a long lunch. I will now spoil what I remember of the plot, bearing in mind that in this case stopping you seeing this film is in no way spoiling your life.

The President of the USA is in Spain for a public appearance. He gets shot. BUT NO. It turns out its not the President at all but his decoy. Why? Well so that the real President will be taken to the safe house, which turns out not to be safe at all so, via a very complex set of affairs, he gets kidnapped. With me? No, nor was I, even the fifth time I saw it – especially as we throw into the mix traitorous security service guys, some morally torn terrorists and the kid. The film has a kid in it, who is almost constantly in peril, as if the security of the free world was not enough for us to root for the hero (Dennis Quaid showing that Jack Bauer is a character anyone can do*).

To its credit it is an entire series worth of plots of 24 in an hour and a half film. To its discredit it is more like season six of 24 (ie the worst one) and its plots are even sillier. As the film stacks its not insignificant cast against the perils of a half baked script which mistakes poorly shot action for interest, the only loser is the viewer. I am all for varied viewpoints, and stabs at interesting narrative effects. In the service of a film which believes a plot twist and revelation every eight minutes will not in anyway undermine the viewing sensation, I have a lot less time.

*OK, Robert Carlyle cannot do Jack Bauer. In the 24 TV movie Redemption Bobby Carlyle plays a bad-ass mate of Jack’s who at one point gets to deliver a Bauer “Dammit”. He does it twice and fluffs it.