DVD Review: Point & Shoot

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Point And Shoot: Review

Point & Shoot is out on DVD on 16th February, so here is our review by Ben Hooper, from December last year.

An American man searches for himself but finds war in this feature documentary.

Matthew Vandyke decided to break out from his sheltered life of action movies and video games in his mum’s basement, and took ‘a crash course in manhood.’ He bought a motorbike and a camera, changed his name (Homer Simpson-style) to Max Hunter and went out into the world.

His adventure starts as a rather tame travelogue, documenting his struggles with Moroccan toilets and lifting his motorbike. But his journey takes a more sinister turn while crossing Iraq and Afghanistan, where he meets a friendly squad of American soldiers, who let him tag along with their missions, and (rather troublingly) play with their big-ass tank guns.

After befriending a ‘hippie’ Libyan, Vandyke leaves his mother and girlfriend for Libya to fight alongside the rebels against Gadaffi’s regime.

While the war footage is neither thrilling nor terrifying, there is a disconcerting attitude to the conflict and Vandyke’s part in it. Point and Shoot is an oddly egocentric film, often more concerned with Vandyke’s own image than the plight of the people he purports to be fighting for.

Perhaps most interesting is the depiction of war as a game, with wannabe Rambos amongst the Libyan rebels and US soldiers, who are keen to act out their action-movie fantasies on camera while bullets rain and people bleed in the street. It’s an extension of Vandyke’s own strange logic that a journey of self-discovery and exploration of masculinity should lead to fighting a war he has little vested interest in.

Thus, Point and Shoot becomes an uneasy insight into the perceived relation between violence and male identity.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.



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