Grosse Pointe BlankApril 11, 1997
Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.
Release Year: 1997
Rating: 7.4/10 (47,911 voted)
Critic's Score: 76/100
Stars: John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Aykroyd
Martin Blank is a freelance hitman who starts to develop a conscience, which causes him to muff a couple of routine assignments. On the advice of his secretary and his psychiatrist, he attends his 10th year High School reunion in Grosse Pointe, Michigan (a Detroit suburb where he's also contracted to kill someone). Hot on his tail are a couple of over-enthusiastic federal agents, another assassin who wants to kill him, and Grocer, an assassin who wants him to join an "Assassin's Union."
Writers: Tom Jankiewicz, Tom Jankiewicz
Martin Q. Blank
K. Todd Freeman
Mr. Bart Newberry
(as Mitchell Ryan)
Felix La PuBelle
A comedy about a hit man, a high school reunion, and the girl he left behind.
Release Date: 11 April 1997
Filming Locations: Ambassador Hotel – 3400 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $6,870,397
(13 April 1997)
(10 August 1997)
Did You Know?
When Minnie Driver tells John Cusack at her apartment that he's a "…psycho," she can be seen moving her hand as though talking. In an interview, Cusack said that this was an ad-lib, as she had seen John and Joan Cusack doing something similar with each other on the set, off-camera.
While Martin and Debbi are talking in the radio station, the length of the middle pendant of Debbi's neck lass continues to change from camera angle to camera angle
Don't hang up! Wait! Did ya' read yesterday's offer?
Hold on a minute.
It's in French. It's a Greenpeace boat. It'd be so easy.
No way! I have scruples.
Firing Blanks & a little romance
I love this film! Starring John Cusack, England's patriotically-named
Driver, plus Dan Ackroyd, Alan Arkin & Joan Cusack, Grosse Pointe Blank'
funny, clever, action-packed & has a great eighties soundtrack.
John Cusack – as the film's protagonist Martin Blank – is superb, &
virtually carries the whole movie. He plays an assassin who started out
working for the U.S. Government but has now gone freelance, having managed
to rationalise his cold-blooded killing. He is an amoral, sharp, ruthless
killer, but also vulnerably human, neurotic, conscience-ridden, tender &
romantic. Despite these ostensibly impossible personality contradictions,
you never once question that his character is real, you can't help but like
the guy, & never stop hoping that things work out for him. Pulling this off
is a remarkable achievement & Cusack does it brilliantly.
He reluctantly accepts a commission that takes him back to his hometown,
Grosse Pointe, coincidentally at exactly the same time as his old High
School reunion. While there he visits his childhood sweetheart, local DJ
Debi (Driver), for the first time in 10 years when in a fit of madness he
had ditched her on their prom night to run off & join the army. As neither
she nor anyone else had heard anything from him since then, her feelings
about this are understandably rather mixed!
Blank visits his institutionalised Mum & the family home, which to his
distress is now an Ultimart', & eventually convinces Debi to go with him
the reunion. His reacquaintances with his former schoolmates are very funny
& even quite touching, & are sure to strike a chord with anyone who's ever
been to one of those things.
Meanwhile various other assassins, chief of which is Blank's rival Grocer
(Ackroyd brilliant as ever) are out to kill him. Their reasons are many &
varied mainly involving an Assassin's union', secret Government
operations & a dead dog (yes, really!). As you can probably guess, these
not the sort of things that are conducive to a successful High School
reunion, & mayhem ensues.
Grosse Pointe Blank' is extremely funny, full of deadpan, twisted humour –
mainly from Cusack, but ably supported by Ackroyd & Arkin. I particularly
liked the running gag of Blank's response to the inevitable "what do you do
for a living?" question: a completely matter-of-fact "professional killer",
which of course not one person takes seriously. I also loved the
neurotic exchanges between Blank & his hounded shrink (Arkin), who ends
every conversation with "Don't kill anyone!" There's also a lovely little
story involving a pen…
The film is also a great action flick – it has some brilliantly
choreographed & executed gunfight & hand-to-hand fight sequences in fact
some of the best I've ever seen. Cusack looks, or at least is made to look,
like a pretty decent athlete himself. The finale is a real tour-de-force, &
for me sums up the movie itself: a great gunfight, clever & hilariously
This film is wonderful from start to finish if you haven't done so
already, see it now!