How can a comedy about hitmen and a high school reunion make you feel like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s day? But for me it does.
Disenchanted assassin-for-hire, Martin Blank (John Cusack) decides to return to Grosse Point to attend his high school reunion on the urging of his therapist, Alan Arkin who’s terrified of him and his high-strung but efficient secretary played by his real-life sister, the always entertaining Joan Cusack.
While trying to connect with the high school prom date he dumped on prom night to enlist in the army, Blank has to outmaneuver two NSA agents (Hank Azaria and K. Todd Freeman, yes, Mr. Trick from Buffy fame), another hit man, a fellow hired gun frenemy, The Grocer played so brilliantly by Dan Aykroyd, and people from high school…while trying to pull off a hit. No wonder he has anxiety issues.
Cusack delivers his best awkwardly intense precision performance surrounded by an amazing supporting cast.
This has the amazing scene where Blank holds a baby at the reunion and there’s that moment where he’s staring at the baby making these adorable faces and you can tell, he gets it; he’s dissatisfied because he spends all his time destroying instead of creating.
One of the funniest parts of this movie is also a social commentary on how people don’t listen to each other or pay attention, so well-illustrated when Blank readily tells everyone in his hometown that he’s a professional killer and everyone takes it as a joke.
Thanks to the creepy and surreal reunion scenes we get an awesome soundtrack pulled together by Joe Strummer (The Clash) including: The Violent Femmes, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Jam, The Clash, a-ha, David Bowie, Queen, etc. and some newer songs including Guns N’ Roses and Faith No More.
“This is me breathing.” ~Martin Q. Blank