By Dylan Hares, Staff Writer

Let’s take a short trip back to movies from the ’90s that, despite not having access to a multi-million dollar budget, were actually written well.

In fact, there were so many well-written movies that many went under the radar. One of those is 1997’s Grosse Pointe Blank.

Grosse Pointe Blank is a film that sits in the “dark comedy” genre.

It blends together action and comedy while taking a provoking look at the human psyche.

Martin Blank (John Cusack) is a hitman who hesitantly revisits his childhood suburb for his 10-year high school reunion in order to sort out the
problems in his life. Work is hell, life is hell and hell follows him back to Grosse Pointe, Michigan, where after 10 years, he runs into all sorts of characters from his past.

John Cusack is the kind of actor who always seems to be thinking of something witty or probing to say in any given conversation.

From the get-go, every line in the movie is sarcastic and funny. Joan Cusack plays Martin Blank’s assistant, and when he asks her, “Did you go to [your reunion]?” she cooly replies, “Yes, I did. It was just as if everyone had swelled.”

The best dynamic is between Cusack and his long lost love Debi played by recently inactive Minnie Driver.

From their first encounter, she is clearly Blank’s opposite, challenging this seasoned killer in mind and love with a tension that’s intriguing and sexy.

Many of his peers live in the area working as, among other things, a real estate agent, rent-a-cop and local DJ — all very normal careers compared to, you know, professional killing.

I would be remised to neglect the fantastic soundtrack the movie boasts. “It’s an all vinyl weekend,” the DJ smoothly says in the opening scene.

Who can deny such ’80s classics as “Blister in the Sun” and “Under Pressure,” not to mention the wonderfully juxtaposed placing of the Guns N’ Roses cover of “Live and Let Die” and Nena’s “99 Luftballons.”

A soundtrack makes a movie and I will take the ’80s-heavy Grosse Pointe Blank over the orchestral-heavy soundtrack of . . . well just about any three-hour Hollywood epic.

Grosse Pointe Blank is funny, well-written, marvelously acted and features a great soundtrack.

I thoroughly enjoy everything John Cusack has ever done and this is a great example of his writing and acting. In this under appreciated classic, combining action and comedy works really well, unlike in this year’s Cop Out.