Vantage Point is a thriller that starts off with the president getting shot. For the rest of the movie, the same event is shown from the perspectives of several different characters. Each of these adds a bit to your knowledge of the situation and adds a few minutes to the story. The whole thing takes place over the course of about 15 minutes.
It should sound interesting; that's what they were going for: something unusual. But in reality, the concept really only serves to limit your knowledge as time goes along. It is very deliberate in what it shows you each time, and a lot of the information you obtain by seeing a new perspective doesn't even come as much of a shock, because you knew just from the way it was shot that SOMETHING was going to be significant about that person or object. So what you end up with is a really drawn out 15 minute story. Luckily, it's not just senseless time stretching as there are some worthwhile moments in the movie, and it all culminates in a final message that makes you think not just about the movie, but about what it would be like if something like that happened in the real world today.
Still, at its core, it's just an average thriller with an average (and long) car chase and an average kidnapping and some average terrorists at work. While it seems to try to present itself as something more, that's really all you're going to get out of the overall experience, plus the more positive points I already described. What gets me the most about it is the predictability. The characters are all shallow, the action is typical (car chase? come on), and the ending is bland and predictable, aside from the final message.
The core film here is what I call 2 stars, but I give it a half star bonus for its fine points, which, of course, stem mostly from the concept of it. Not bad, but nothing exceptional. If you like thrillers, then you'll probably get a kick out of it. Otherwise, you'll probably see it as very average.
Caius's rating: 2.5 stars