From every perspective, Vantage Point is a wholesale disaster. Director Pete Travis and screenwriter Barry Levy’s fractured political thriller was reportedly inspired by Rashomon, which means that the filmmakers don’t understand Akira Kurosawa’s classic, as instead of utilizing their multiple-viewpoint tale to investigate the unknowability of truth, they merely provide different angles on the same event – a presidential assassination at a Spanish peace conference – to generate dull mystery. Levy’s script is a monumentally cheap and absurd creation that elicits only dumbfounded disbelief, stacking inanities on top of illogicalities to erect a monument to cinematic suckiness. The camerawork is a pretentious mess (culminating in a laughable link-everybody final shot) and the performances (from, among others, Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox and Forest Whitaker) are universally clunky, though this last failing can be partially attributed to the third grade-level dialogue. Whether it’s a national security debriefing in which a presidential advisor claims that a suspected terrorist spent time in Darfur (an ethnic conflict largely devoid of international hired guns), or a blatantly ludicrous plot twist involving commander-in-chief doubles, Vantage Point is a work of stunning simplemindedness that insults its audience’s intelligence at every turn, never more so than during a climactic car chase in which Quaid’s secret serviceman violently crashes his car twice, and not only do airbags not employ (I guess they don’t have those in Spain), but he walks away from the second wreck in a still finely pressed suit.