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Overall Rating
4.3

Awesome53.19%
Worth A Look: 29.79%
Average: 12.77%
Pretty Bad: 2.13%
Total Crap: 2.13%

2 reviews, 35 user ratings


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Vanishing Point
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by Scott Weinberg

"Social commentary with a souped-up exterior."
3 stars

Vanishing Point is a car-race flick, at least on the surface. Underneath (buried not too deeply) is a moody and sly commentary on modern man’s gradual domestication in a confusingly eclectic society. At least I think that’s what it’s about.

The subext, while a welcome respite from the non-stop driving sequences, is well-intentioned and periodically effective, yet often comes off as hamhanded - to say nothing of how painfully dated the film is. Still, Vanishing Point is an interesting little forgotten flick from the early 70’s, one that will most obviously appeal most to automobile aficionados.

Barry Nelson (Bowfinger) is Kowalski, one of America’s “last great drivers”. Despite the protestations of his loyal boss, Kowalski takes on a decidedly dangerous job: He must transport a 1970 white Dodge Challenger from Denver, Colorado to San Francisco in fifteen hours. Logically, the Highway Patrol catches wind of Kowalski’s presence early on, yet as he treks from state to state, none of the cops can catch our hero.

Kowalski’s finds an unlikely ally in a blind disc jockey called Super Soul (Cleavon Little of Blazing Saddles) who offers some timely advice to the driver as he speeds westward. Kowalski meets up with a colorful group of folks along the way, each one representing a different piece of America’s social class; a seemingly insane snake poacher (Dean Jagger of Alligator) turns out to be surprisingly helpful, as does a pair of good-natured desert-dwelling hippies. (The female hippie spends all of her scenes bare-assed naked, which always makes a movie at least a little better.)

The acting is generally quite serviceable, the extensive chase sequences are exciting and well shot (though hardly representative of the “best car chase movie ever!” promised on the video cover), and the film has that satisfying air of “1970’s freewheeling filmmaking”. Whether or not Vanishing Point has some big important metaphor behind all the high-paced automobile pursuits is up to the individual viewer.

I just thought it was a fairly entertaining chase flick, with a few artistic touches included to keep the thinking viewers happy.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6097&reviewer=128
originally posted: 08/14/02 07:17:53
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/12/16 The Big D Weird, depressing film about social misfits--72 Road Runners rock; 70 Challengers suck! 1 stars
5/11/15 Jordano A favorite of mine. This film speaks to me in ways other films don't beyond its basic plot. 5 stars
7/02/12 Jack Loved this movie since it came out. Much more than just a chase 'n crash flick... 5 stars
6/02/12 Elian great movie! !! 5 stars
5/22/12 Clairellen McLaughlin Excellent thought-provoking film. 5 stars
10/08/10 henry baird excellent 5 stars
5/26/08 Jeff Anderson A great 70's cult classic helped highly by Newman & an awesome soundtrack, IT'S THAT GOOD! 5 stars
9/03/07 Rocketman Absolutely terrific movie...i'll be drivin HWY50 this summer...to the Vanishing Point !!! 5 stars
6/12/07 Jim Phelan Probably seen this movie more than anyone alive,, at 50 y/o got a new dvd and still watchin 5 stars
6/27/06 sarafian 20 times in 1972 5 stars
3/03/05 Mike Rallins The best car chase movie I've seen! 5 stars
11/25/04 m willard There is more here than just a car flick, I was pleasantly surprised. 4 stars
10/29/04 susanne wiley i've seen it 4 times over the past few years and i enjoy it everytime 4 stars
7/24/04 J-C CHARRON TIMELESS CLASSIC DEMANDS MUTLIPLE VIEWINGS! 5 stars
5/14/04 John one of the great 70's road movies - still very entertaining 4 stars
4/17/04 Morally Sound Just sit back and enjoy the ride. 4 stars
3/14/04 Mike Reiners It fit the time, 1971, so very well. I was 16, we loved it. 4 stars
3/13/04 Jon Brown cool movie 5 stars
2/04/04 Jim Triggs Fantastic film with plenty of supernatural undertones. 5 stars
1/19/04 dan beaudoin greatest car movie ever seen 5 stars
1/02/04 Derifter Boring, saved only by the Challenger. If you liked Two-Lane Blacktop, you might like this. 2 stars
12/27/03 klkj jklkjl 5 stars
12/04/03 DaSilver A lilttle reminder of what life is like when all you have to depend on is an engine 5 stars
11/27/03 Nick Carayannis Groing up in Colorado and watching VP on the big screen at age 16 I am still nuts over i t 5 stars
11/09/03 Baby Boomer I saw it on the big screen, memorable, muscle cars, music, scenery, yeah fucking great! 4 stars
9/21/03 BFDG No better B movie ever made,Period ! ! 5 stars
8/31/03 joe bob great 5 stars
4/28/03 Bjorn Stemerdink If you like the lone guy racing across the country while comtemplating his life, its great 5 stars
3/26/03 Stijn Delaere Great movie with lots of soul power! Primal Scream's devoted an excellent album to it! 4 stars
2/12/03 Peter Leatherland one of the best films ever! 5 stars
2/08/03 MDR Best Movie Ever 5 stars
1/05/03 Iwo Jakubowski Great film about the tremendous speed of the 60s forgotten long ago;great Newman`s creation 4 stars
10/26/02 Michael Great... a formative classic of my early years. I've watched this film over and over. 5 stars
10/02/02 Linda P. Fucking great 5 stars
8/22/02 Richard An exciting piece of filmaking. Says "f--- you to all the do as your told types" 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  15-Jan-1971 (R)
  DVD: 03-Feb-2004

UK
  N/A (18)

Australia
  15-Jan-1971 (M)




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