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.
1.85 : 1
Rated R for strong violence, language and some drug content.
Comedy, Crime, Romance, Thriller
Assassin, High School, High School Reunion, Hitman, Union
Dolby Digital, SDDS
Black Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Reunion Films, Comedy Thriller
Grosse Pointe Blank is a 1997 American comedy crime film directed by George Armitage, and starring John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Alan Arkin, and Dan Aykroyd. The film is 1980s revival-themed, and the soundtrack features largely independent music from that decade. The film received positive reviews from critics and grossed $28,084,357.
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Professional assassin Martin Q. Blank (John Cusack) finds himself depressed, irritable and dissatisfied with his work. A major irritant is his chief rival Grocer (Dan Aykroyd), whose effort to cartelize the hitman business puts him at potentially lethal odds with the solitary Martin. Following a botched contract, Martin receives an invitation to his class of '86 10-year high school reunion in his home town of Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Initially reluctant to attend, he is pressured into it by both his therapist (Alan Arkin) (who rejects Martin as a patient, but continues to permit sessions with him out of fear) and his secretary (Joan Cusack) (the only person with whom Martin has more or less normal interactions). She books him a contract in Michigan that coincides with the reunion, ostensibly to smooth things over with the client whose contract was botched.
Upon arriving in Grosse Pointe, Martin seeks out Debi Newberry (Minnie Driver), now a radio DJ, whom Martin had abandoned on prom night to enlist in the Army. While Debi's visit suggests hope for redemption, Martin's depression is only deepened by visits to his demented mother, his alcoholic father's grave, and the site of his childhood home where a convenience store now stands. Reconnecting with friends like Paul (Jeremy Piven) (who facilitated the sale of his childhood home) is likewise depressing, as many have seemingly become well adjusted adults with normal jobs. When asked about his own livelihood, Martin readily reveals that he is a professional killer, a response taken as a joke by everyone he meets.
Meanwhile Martin is being stalked by fellow hitmen Grocer and Felix LaPoubelle (Benny Urquidez), a Basque former terrorist who is hired to kill Martin as revenge for one of his past jobs, and attempts to do so in the convenience store that stands in place of his childhood home. He is also clumsily tailed by two National Security Agency agents (Hank Azaria and K. Todd Freeman) who were tipped off to Martin's contract by Grocer. Despite these dangers, Martin remains distracted by his desire to make amends with Debi and fails to open the background dossier on his prospective target.
At the reunion, Martin mingles with his former classmates, one of whom hands him her adorable toddler. Martin then experiences an existential transformation, recognizing that his recent dissatisfaction with his work and his amends with Debi signify an opportunity to change his life. Moments later, while exploring the halls, Martin is attacked by LaPoubelle, whom he kills in self-defense. Debi stumbles upon the scene and, horrified to find that Martin was not joking about his work after all, flees the reunion. Paul arrives only moments later to find Martin, who corrals him into helping to dispose of LaPoubelle's body in the school furnace. Realizing that his friend was not joking about his profession, Paul walks away from Martin in disgust after they dispose of LaPoubelle.
Later Debi confronts Martin in his hotel room, where he reveals that psychological testing in the Army revealed he was suited to work as a hitman for the CIA; after leaving the CIA, he went into business for himself. His rationalizations for his work only horrify Debi even more; she rejects his attempts at reconciliation, and storms out. Martin, concluding that it is futile to attempt to change his life, fires his psychiatrist over the phone and finally opens the dossier containing the details of the contract that brought him to Grosse Pointe. He is startled to find that the target is Bart Newberry (Mitchell Ryan), Debi's father, who is scheduled to testify against Martin's client.
Grocer decides to stop waiting for Martin to kill Bart and attempts the job himself to impress Martin's client. Either out of love for Debi, or a new-found respect for life, Martin abandons the contract and rescues Bart from certain death, speeding him to the Newberry house and holing up inside, narrowly ahead of Grocer and his team of mercenaries. During the siege, Martin finally reveals that he stood Debi up on prom night to enlist in the Army to channel his strong homicidal urges away from his family and friends. Martin gradually kills the team of mercenaries. During a tense standoff between Blank and Grocer, the NSA agents enter the fight, where they are gunned down by Grocer and Martin. By this point, Blank has run out of ammunition, and when Grocer tries to trick Blank by "selling" him a weapon for $100,000, Blank surprises him by smashing a TV over his head and killing him. Wounded and exhausted, Blank then proposes marriage to Debi. Debi, shell-shocked from the day's events, does not respond, although her father readily gives his blessing. The film ends with Debi and Martin speeding out of Grosse Pointe together.
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Rated R for strong violence, language and some drug content
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