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Indestructible Gibson in grim and gritty telling of The Hunter. 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 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.
An underrated crime noir that somehow snuck it's way into the overcrowded 90s. With phrases like, "expected horizontal refreshment", you know this is going to be good.
_**Amusing neo-noir in Chicago with Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry and Maria Bello**_ After a heist with an Asian gang, a no-nonsense man (Mel Gibson) is left for dead by his accomplices (Gregg Henry & Deborah Kara Unger) in the underbelly of the Big City, but he unexpectedly recovers and wants vengeance, not to mention his $70,000. Maria Bello, Lucy Liu, William Devane, Kris Kristofferson, James Coburn and other notables are on hand. "Payback" (1999) is modern film noir with colors so muted it’s almost B&W (although I hear the Director’s Cut heightens them). It’s a remake of Coburn’s “Point Blank” (1967) and is ‘hip’ & entertaining in an amusing Tarantino kind of way, although it’s nowhere close to the greatness of “Pulp Fiction” (1994) or even “Jackie Brown” (1997). However, my wife liked it more than me and gave it 7/10, but then she’s a fan of Gibson. The film runs 1 hour, 40 minutes, and was shot mainly in Chicago, along with Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles with studio stuff done in Burbank. There’s also an establishing shot of Manhattan. GRADE: B-
There has been a grave massacre within a highly successful insurance company in Puerto Rico. The owners, a married couple, have been slaughtered along with their employees. While the police are investigating, a private investigator, Isabelo, is hired. The investigation takes place in an underworld of frayed relationships and foul connections. It is a detective story that revolves around unforeseen secrets dealing in the occult and certain passions that only appear to spawn loathing.
An insurance agent's greedy girlfriend with a taste for mink leads him to a life of crime.
The friendship between two orphans endures even though they grow up on opposite sides of the law and fall in love with the same woman.
Dull and plain Catherine lives with her emotionally distant father, Dr. Sloper, in 1840s New York. Her days are empty — filled with little more than needlepoint. Enter handsome Morris Townsend, a dashing social climber with his eye on the spinster's heart and substantial inheritance.
Don Birnam, a long-time alcoholic, has been sober for ten days and appears to be over the worst... but his craving has just become more insidious. Evading a country weekend planned by his brother and girlfriend, he begins a four-day bender that just might be his last - one way or another.
William Walker and his mercenary corps enter Nicaragua in the middle of the 19th century in order to install a new government by a coup d'etat.
Having both lost their jobs, two strangers become unlikely friends after a run in with a would be robber, who is actually a hitman with a grudge against the two.
In Colorado territory, outlaw Wes McQueen escapes jail to pull a railroad robbery but, upon meeting pretty settler Julie Ann, he wonders about going straight. Western remake of High Sierra with Joel McCrea taking over the Humphrey Bogart role.
A biker's brother is killed while investigating the kidnapping of a young boy, the byproduct of a war between two crime families. The biker vows to get revenge by finding the kidnapped boy and destroying the two families.
Carlos a young man who lives in the suburbs of the big city has ambitions and wants to change his life. Influenced by friends of doubtful moral character, habituated to frequent harmful environments. Little by little, he begins to see himself doomed to crime and one day he abandons his girlfriend, María, for Isabel, an attractive and intelligent woman who plays with him and takes him wherever he wants. When Carlos, once he has committed a robbery, realizes the nature of Isabel and his friends, and that he will never be happy in that environment, he tries to go back, but the violence of the facts will lead him to a bloodthirsty outcome.
An actress confronts her quarter-life crisis by breaking up with New York City and returning home to win back the love of her life.