If you don't like violence, then don't watch this movie. If you are open to great storytelling and gritty dialogue, this is the movie for you. In some ways superior to the remake and just as gripping. Some have hated this film just because of what it was, and that's a shame for them that they can't enjoy a film that neither glorifies nor trashes the underside of life. In a weird way, the main character Porter who was Walker in the Lee Marvin film, played this time by Mel Gibson who is almost as good as Lee Marvin. Nobody could be better than Marvin in this kind of role has a <more>
kind of decency code of his own even though it is more than a bit twisted. After all, in a world inhabited by criminals, the rules change significantly and so once has to either adapt or find a way out. Porter does both in both versions.No sense in rehashing the plot. Suffice it to say that it is about a crook who got burned and wants what is coming to him and gets even along the way. Besides, the plot has been recounted by so many better reviewers than myself. I can only say that in "Point Blank" the ending is a bit more ambiguous. A precursor to the films of the 1970s.It's always hard for me to rate one film version over another. It is almost impossible to not want to in my mind at least mix and match actors in roles. James Coburn played the same part as did Carroll O'Connor in the original and they are both perfect while being so different. After all, they were both accomplished actors. And maybe I could have done without a lot of the S&M and B&D scenes in the newer version but I chalk that up to the changes in the world since the 1960s.Long before there was a Quentin Tarrantino, there were great directors like Don Siegel, Sam Peckinpah and Sam Fuller who were as tough as nails and not just some fan who knew how to use the best of all of these guys brilliant touches, and add some sick jokes. But director/writer Brain Helgeland does spectacularly well with the material, while the new cast shines in their roles almost as though they weren't acting, but living the parts. And that goes right down to the underrated David Paymer as a pathetic hustler who could easily have been played in earlier times by an Elisha Cook Jr. as he did with the Wilmer role from "The Maltese Falcon" yet Paymer does so with more humor. It is hard to make one root for people so lacking in morals but director, writer and actors manage amazingly well.Both "Payback" and "Point Blank" are instant classics that should be considered as such. And God bless the memories of Lee Marvin and John Vernon both in the original "Point Blank" version. Such fine thespians will be sorely missed. Fortunately, their memories are on celluloid and other mediums to be enjoyed by many more audiences.You might have guessed I really love these two movies.
Payback - Great movie in the "film noir" genre (by toan-5)
Payback directed by Brian Helgeland is a classic "film noir" following the tradition of urban "gangster movies" and Mel Gibson is giving an outstanding performance as Porter - the bad guy who is only slightly better than the rest of the gangsters, hoodlums, crooks and scoundrels to be met in the film."Payback" is a great movie in this genre. Donald E. Westlake, who has written the novel on which the film is based, has picked up the thread of Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett to create an authentic universe with "real" characters, and Brian Helgeland <more>
has succeeded to bring this universe to the screen.Everything about this movie is great - the storyboard, the cast, the direction and the soundtrack. This film bears resemblance to Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" and if you have seen "the Maltese Falcon" starring Bogart, you should definitely see "Payback".
Payback by name, payback by narrative but brilliance by opinion. (by johnnyboyz)
The film begins with a series of gross close ups: some nasty looking surgical tools; a grubby glass having a drink being poured into it before being gulped down by a sleazy looking man, as a spread chart makes itself apparent on the wall behind him complete with pictures of a fetal nature complete with unborn babies – maybe a sign that this guy does cheap, back alley abortions as well. As it happens he's removing a bullet or two from our anti-hero of the hour, someone who lays everything out for us as he lies there on the slab, informing us of what was taken from him and what he's <more>
going to get back. The item in question is $70,000; a score he inherited from robbing the aforementioned Chinese gangsters with partner Val Resnick Henry . The location is an unnamed city, a place we first see by way of an extreme long shot as the lead makes his way over a bridge - the city has that appearance of being cut off from the mainland, as if this scuzzy, hostile, crime infused dystopia is somehow disconnected from the normal world.The stark differences between both Val and Porter is highlighted in this one scene they share, in which either hostilities are at a minimum or they aren't frantically moving around the screen for whatever reason. They stand, street side and watch the Chinese go about their routine. Val is frisky; nervous and energetic – his blonde hair and effeminate clothing is in stark contrast to Porter's jacket; darkly hued hair and gruff, unemotional tone is the polar opposite to that of Val's appearance. Whilst swiping the case, Val's sadism becomes first apparent in his beating of the Chinese driver. He utters a line along the lines of: "The trouble is with kickn' a Chow's ass, half an hour later, you want to do it again!", which foreshadows both a violent and sadistic driven relationship with Pearl Lui , a Chinese mistress. This, as his foil Val sports a name ambiguous in terms of gender; already adding to his dress sense and hair style, somewhat out of sorts for a piece of this genre. Later on, ideas as to how Val strives to survive in this hostile world arise when certain parallels can be drawn between characters.Payback is quintessential noir; a film that ought to be a vital part of any noir cannon, despite all the problems; disagreements and issues that threatened to run it aground prior to release. The film is a smart, highly intelligent and highly enjoyable romp through an unspecified, unhinged city in America in which thieves; back-stabbers; liars; traitors; crooks and criminals rule the majority of the roost. To see it is to experience one of the great films of recent times, and one of the more under appreciated films of our time. It is essentially a blending of generic codes and conventions of hard-boiled noir from Hollywood of the 1940s mixed in with more action orientated American crime pictures about men, their guns and masculinity from the 1970s – think a Dirty Harry sequel but ten times better.The film's noir archetypes complete with voice-overs blend nicely with the lead's persistent flitting between lonely, down-trodden noir infused lead and gun's-blazing action hero, as he takes on a variety of shady and unlikeable villains out to do more harm than our lead is. The use of specific cars of 'an era' with the sparseness of cellular phones are all obvious ideas employed by the makers of the piece that have been brought to attention before in regards to the inconclusive year in which the film is set, although my favourite tactic applied to the piece which renders the setting ambiguous is the instance in which Porter, having stolen a guy's wallet, looks at the I.D. and reads his date of birth to have been the year 1940 – the fact the victim looks to be in his thirties suggests a 1970s setting.There have been many writings on the character of the successful gangster being a living embodiment of the 'amoral' American dream; exemplified over the years in many films such as the original Scarface. The high-rise buildings the mafia of this film inhabit during working hours dominate the skyline of an equally shady and sinister city, with the high-rise offices coming to represent the very core of Capitalism iconography. Outside, the American flags are left to fly beside the entrance - they hang, loosely and limply, almost ashamed to fly high and proud because of what lies inside and how it is the inhabitants came to be as rich and successful as they have done: by way of the amoral American dream of a gangster lifestyle.The film is full of people chasing a similarly ill-advised and immoral dream, that longing for money that they have not earned cleanly and honestly: a corrupt policeman wanting a boat without having to life a finger; a wormy cab dispenser willing to just waltz someone into The Mob for a large bounty; a two-timing thief willing to grass up an old friend. Lead Porter and his plight are consistently made to look a lot more favourable than they actually are. By the end of the film, our lead will have waged a war against police corruption and individuals whom engage in violence against women. The film is one of those minor-masterpieces that feels shunned on release, when in actuality, maintains a promise of delivering an experience of a genre which carries nessesary weight. The film is engageing and smart, while it does not contain thirty seconds that aren't uninteresting. Whilst the majority are incorrectly dismissive, Payback is a fascinating and gripping exercise in a blending of genres with film theory and character.
Easily one of Gibson's best, and one of the best of it's kind you will ever see. Homage to film noir, combined with usual Gibson tongue-in-cheekness, and some fabulous supporting roles from the likes of Coburn, Kristofferson, Liu, and Devane. Henry does a stirling job here opposite Gibson. Liu is simply wonderful in a role that - worryingly perhaps - looks like it was made for her! Porter's single-minded, no-nonsense determination to get what he sees as justice for himself strikes a chord, and has you rooting for him right to the end. This film rarely lets up on the intensity, and <more>
gets better as it goes along. It will make you laugh and cringe at the same time, but you won't want to take your eyes off the screen for a second. It looks good, feels good, and oozes class. Definitely a must-see.
I'ts not often a film comes along that has a great script , great acting and good soundtrack but Payback has all these.Mel Gibson plays a guy who has been ripped of by the tune of $70,000 and this is the violent story of how he get round to getting it back.The film takes you on a journey where you ride many twists and turns and you meet lots of great personalities on the way , most of which end up dead. Mel Gibson try's his best to be nasty but you cant help but like him. He could play Jack the ripper and you would still end up liking him! Anyway catch this movie asap. 9 out of 10
Indestructible Gibson in grim and gritty telling of The Hunter. (by Spikeopath)
This is not an out and out remake of John Boorman's 1967 offering Point Blank, the structure is different from the 67 film, and where Point Blank is a dark psychological thriller that is rightly regarded as being towards the top of the neo-noir tree, this Brian Helgeland directed film really should be seen as a different interpretation of Donald E. Westlake's novel The Hunter. Mel Gibson plays tough as nails thief Porter, who is double crossed, shot, and then left for dead by his wife Lynn Deborah Kara Unger and his partner in crime Val Resnick Gregg Henry . We are then taken on a <more>
dark journey as Porter sets out to reclaim the $70.000 that he was shot and almost killed for. He wants no more, no less than what he is owed, and he literally will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. Including taking on the Chicago mob organisation known as The Outfit. Payback is a mean and violent movie, it is unrelenting in its willingness to keep nastiness at the top of the story. The film is full of flawed and vile people, even Porter himself, the closest we have to a anti hero has badness coursing through his veins, he is a dislikable killer, the film is about exactly what the tag-line suggests, Get Ready To Root For The Bad Guy! As Porter trawls through this part of Chicago, he will come across bent coppers, drug pushers/addicts/runners, Asian gangsters, prostitutes, violence fetishists and the slimy chain of command of the Chicago mob. Nobody here is about to cheer you up. The style of the film owes its being to classic film noir and the 1970s hard crime movies led by Dirty Harry and Death Wish. The makers had originally wanted to film it in black and white, but instead went for a de-saturation technique, a bleach by-pass process that really puts a grim grey and blue sheen on the visuals. The thumping score is tonally correct, while a good sound track also helps always nice to see hear Voodoo Chile , and the use of voice over narration by Porter evokes the classic noir period and works a treat because it's not over done. The film strongly relies on Mel Gibson to bring menace and a measure of sympathy to the vengeful Porter, and it is with much credit that he manages to achieve both these things skilfully. He is backed by a strong support cast, Maria Bello admirable in her big shift from TV to film - Lucy Liu hilarious and stunningly sexy as a dominatrix and Gregg Henry is just wild. The Outfit chain of command features William Devane, James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson, all slick and welcome additions, even if they are all under used; though this is more by narrative necessity than film making decisions. Bill Duke, David Paymer and Jack Conley fill out the impressive roll call of scum-bags. Violent, laconic and darkly comic as well, Payback is one of the best remakes around, a neo-noir essential in fact. 8.5/10 Footnote: Director Helgeland released his own Directors Cut in 2006. Unhappy with the original version, he changed some of the structure and visual style and made it shorter by ten minutes. It's inferior to the 100 minute original cut in my opinion, losing much of the noir stylisations, but the last quarter is different and will does certainly appeal to others.
Payback, while admittedly one of the more violent movies out this year, was definitely an entertaining flick.Like the promo catch phrase says, this time you'll root for the bad guy. If Gibson's character has any redeeming qualities, they are on a very short list. Porter Gibson is violent, at times even cruel and the other characters aren't much better; some are worse. Every character is from the wrong side of the tracks, even the cops are on the take and there are no punches pulled. The only character you can really feel is a "good guy" is Rose, the stereotypical <more>
Callgirl with a heart of gold although it's maybe only 10 karat, not a real 24 karat heart .Nevertheless, you will root for Porter. Frankly, I don't think anyone else could have pulled off this role and still kept the support of the audience like Gibson did, but then he generally always plays the good guy with a twist. This time, the twist is a little more savage than usual.All in all, if you enjoy the occasional violent romp on the big screen and you're a fan of Mel Gibson; Payback is worth seeing.
"Payback" is one of those highly entertaining movies that make you forget your sorrows for a moment and entertains you right till the end. Difference with most other entertaining movies is that this movie also has a great story!The movie is completely driven by the main character played by Mel Gibson. He plays a great and fun criminal who is an anti-hero and a total bad guy but still someone for who you can feel and cheer about. The movie also features lot's of other great actors including James Coburn in a very fun role, Kris Kristofferson, Lucy Liu, Bill Duke and David Paymer. <more>
The movie is filled with great and entertaining characters.The story is just great and has quite some nice twists and moments. The movie is comedy like but it also has a wonderful film-noir feeling with a typical atmosphere. There are also some nice action sequences in which Mel Gibson's character might be featured a bit too much as an hero.Nothing about this movie indicates that there were troubles on the set during filming with the director Brian Helgeland, on the contrary! Everything about the movie feels very fun like.Solid entertainment!8/10http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
Mel as Parker aka Porter is a bad guy who comes across as a good guy because everyone else in this flic is even more nasty than he is. It's a simple play on perspective not often utilized in the movies. Usually, the hero is A HERO, white hat and all, even with a few quirks or deficiencies to his character. Not so, here. And the key to the whole picture is buying into Mel as a bad man, all despite his many years in heroic roles beforehand. It works very well, especially in the beginning, where it really needed to. There's an early scene during the credits where Mel forces himself to <more>
smile in a mirror, as preparation for putting forth his 'best face' to a teller at a bank. One gets the impression this really is a man unaccustomed to smiling, a sour, angry man. The early scenes also recall the beginning of "Miami Blues," that being a criminal swooping into town and wasting no time in bringing a little terror & hardship on certain select bystanders. There's a danger, in a film sense, of satirizing such moments too much, to the point of slapstick comedy - rather than dark comedy, which it really is. But Mel doesn't mess around here: he means business, bashing scum left & right, and blowing 'em away as he moves up the ladder of an organized crime organization. The rest of the cast is top-notch, by the way. The casting directors must have had a field day on this one. Then Mel himself is beaten; the whole theme of the movie seems to be about pain: how much one can stand; how much one can dish out. It ends up being very cathartic. The cinematography also helps this picture: the photography is quite stark,ultra-crisp, adding to the 'punch' of the whole show. The lines on Mel's face are deeper than ever; he seems to carry years of pain there. And years of guilt, maybe.