Mixing the hooks of Antonioni’s Blow-Up (murder mystery caught via photograph) and Coppola’s The Conversation (murder plot uncovered via sound recording), De Palma made his best film about the power and the limits of film and voyeurism, as well as his most emotionally devastating work.
On paper this movie, written and directed by Brian De Palma, might seem to be just a political thriller, but it has a rap intensity that makes it unlike any other political thriller...It’s a great movie.
De Palma's can make a similar story with the same technique and it's still fantastic, Blow Out it's hell of a terrifying movie, De Palma's camera is you, you literally feel like you was involved every second of it, you feel it, you saw it, and you care about it, it's a masterful of a work with a marvelous performance by all the cast, Blow Out is another solid terrifying thriller by Brian De Palma.
This one sits with you. And the more you think about "Blow Out", the more fascinating it gets. Not as flashy or sleazy as De Palma's films before and after this, I can understand why it got overlooked initially. But I'm glad I finally checked it out because, while the screenplay is very good in how it infuses the story with paranoia, the real star is the editing and camerawork (+ the sound design)! Travolta is amazing, you can interpret a lot of stuff into this film, not much more that I can say what others haven't already said. It's very moody, and very good.
Best of all, this movie is inhabited by a real cinematic intelligence. The audience isn't condescended to. In sequences like the one in which Travolta reconstructs a film and sound record of the accident, we're challenged and stimulated: We share the excitement of figuring out how things develop and unfold, when so often the movies only need us as passive witnesses.
Playing with and making fun of paranoia is a DePalma specialty and he does it well. There are some very chilling touches in Blow Out. It's a good solid movie -- but it won't blow you away. [24 July 1981, p.D1]
Yet more important than anything else about Blow Out is its total, complete and utter preoccupation with film itself as a medium in which, as Mr. De Palma has said along with a number of other people, style really is content.
De Palma has brought back Travolta's edge and intelligence. Relieved of having to give a star turn, Travolta seems happy to buckle down and do a straight-ahead, no-frills acting job. [27 July 1981, p.74]
Some cool and inventive camera work, definitely loses a lot of steam in the middle portion. Features one of the most shocking ending scenes I can every remember, I can't decide if was brilliant or the stupidest thing I have ever seen.
-Some leaps of logic interrupt the flow towards the end
The movie carries an interesting - slightly nerdy concept of a sound recordist embroiled in a cover up plot. The film starts as a mystery drama and then becomes a fairly run of the mill thriller. A very well done albeit unsurprising watch.
Un film assez déséquilibré qui commence par un complot, se développe à la manière d’un thriller, puis s’arrête sans crier gare, le complot ne servant que de prétexte à une succession de meurtres menés sinistrement par l’inquiétant John Lithgow, psychopathe débutant ici.
Travolta est plutôt bon et d’une sobriété remarquable, tentant de laisser derrière lui les affres de la pathétique fièvre du samedi soir, surtout qu’il bénéficie dans la VF de la voix de notre Gégé national, excusez du peu ! Nancy pour sa part est toujours aussi mignonne, ce qui ne gâte rien.
La musique criarde et larmoyante est par contre détestable tandis que De Palma délivre une mise en scène un brin maniérée dont il a le secret et qu’il lui faudra raffiner encore bien des années. Le film reste bien mené mais l’impression globale n’est pas forcément agréable, car ‘Blow out’ est construit à dire vrai exclusivement sur et en vue de son dénouement tout à fait… discutable.