Whatever Happened to Grosse Pointe Blank?

For a movie that was apparently firing on all cylinders, Grosse Pointe Blank was forgotten awfully quickly over the years since if one were to mention it now to a group of movie buffs they might hear an audible ‘Huh?’ from at least one or two people. To be fair, it is a movie that doesn’t appear to have been meant to move forward after the end credits started rolling, and it’s easy to state that the entire premise was neatly bottled up into one unique tale that was meant for a nice one-off that didn’t need to go any further. But the fact that it was forgotten so quickly kind of makes one think that just about anything that John Cusack stars in is going to get this treatment one way or another given that a lot of his movies, and there are a good number of them, have seen people forget that they were even made over the years. Cusack has definitely starred in a great number of movies that are worth more than just a glance, but there’s still that quality to some of them that makes it hard to remember that he starred in them, to begin with. 

The movie has a very well thought story to it though since Martin Blank is an assassin that’s been in business for several years when the movie starts and is counseling even while he’s still working. When he gets an invite to his ten-year high school reunion though it starts to stir up a bit of drama in his life since he recalls a woman that he ditched in order to join the US Army on prom night, and he’s trying to dodge a fellow assassin that wants him to join a union and will gladly eliminate him if Martin continues to decline. Things only grow more complicated when the rival assassin, played by none other than Dan Aykroyd, alerts two NSA agents to Martin’s objective, which makes Martin’s task just a little bit harder. 

What’s fun about this movie is that Martin is a very conflicted individual since he has homicidal urges that kept him from reconnecting with the woman he’d been dating, played by Minnie Driver, and yet he still wants to reconnect with her. All the while he’s being hunted by the guy that ratted him out, and he’s trying to dodge the two agents that have been alerted to his presence. It definitely sounds like a lively reunion, doesn’t it? As if that wasn’t enough, he doesn’t open the file on his next target until later in the movie, only to discover that the target is the father of the woman he’s trying to get back together with, which creates a huge complication as Martin refuses the contract and has to do what he can to protect the father while at the same time not getting killed in the process. Deciding to give up his life as an assassin he has to shoot it out with his rival and find a way to leave town while in one piece. This time, however, he decides to bring the woman of his dreams with him since it’s become apparent that she makes him want to be a better man. 

It’s kind of touching how this movie starts out as kind of comical but dangerous story of a man that appears to have very little love for life but at the same time hasn’t quite given up yet. Martin is the type of guy that people might think they know in high school but shows up years later to say that he’s can’t really say what he does, or will give some lame job title to hide the fact that they are in fact a very dangerous person. Why this movie was so easily forgotten is hard to say since it did have a good story and a well-rounded cast. But one thing that’s been noticeable over the years since Dan Aykroyd has been getting older is that he’s still a great comedian and actor, but the allure he had as a celebrity back in the 80s and even the 90s has definitely dimmed a bit. Some might want to disagree with this, but the truth is that a lot of actors from those two decades have been kind of hard to get fired up about at times.

All the same, this movie was a fun story to watch and it did feature a cast that were able to work together in a believable way since their on-screen chemistry was easily good enough to win a lot of people over. The idea that any movie can slip into the background and be nearly forgotten is one that a lot of fans should be able to agree with since it happens quite often, and many of John Cusack’s movies have experienced this over the years. 

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