PAYBACK

Content -4
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: February 05, 1999

Starring: Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria
Bello, David Paymer, James
Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, &
William Devane

Genre: Action thriller

Audience:

Rating: R

Runtime:

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Director: Brian Helgeland

Executive Producer:

Producer: Bruce Davey

Writer: Brian Helgeland & Terry Hayes
BASED ON THE NOVEL: The Hunter
by Richard Stark

Address Comments To:

Content:

Pagan worldview depicting violence & criminal actions in comedic fashion; 39 obscenities & 6 profanities; extreme violence including men shot in cold blood, man getting nose ring ripped out, man punched & slammed against wall, explosions, & masochistic & sadistic behavior; prostitution implied & depicted, & implied & depicted sexual perversion; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking & drug use implied; and, robbery & revenge.

Summary:

Mel Gibson stars as a criminal trying to get back his share of the take from a robbery in the violent crime thriller PAYBACK. None of the characters learn any moral lessons, and the movie treats getting back stolen crime money as a heroic act.

Review:

Playing the role of a morally reprehensible man named Porter, Mel Gibson leads an interesting cast in the dark, violent comedy, PAYBACK. PAYBACK is based on a novel by Richard Stark and is a remake of POINT BLANK starring the late Lee Marvin.

After a robbery job, Porter is double-crossed by his partner, Val, played by Gregg Henry, and Porter's wife. Porter loses his share of $70,000 and nearly his life. Porter returns to get back his $70,000 at any cost. What follows is a roller coaster ride of one violent scene after another as Porter tries to catch up with Val. Along the way, Porter discovers his wife OD'd on heroin while he pulls a young man's nose ring out, kicks, punches, & slams other men against walls and shoots people in cold blood. All of this is done in a comic vein.

During the movie, the audience learns that Val is involved in a sadistic and masochistic relationship. Both he and his girlfriend enjoy hitting, punching and whipping one another and/or watching others getting tortured. This interaction becomes a caricature. Meanwhile, Porter makes it clear that he is willing to lose his own life in order to get back his $70,000. Complicating his search is a prostitute and ex-girlfriend, played by Maria Bello.

This action-packed movie does not have much substance or depth and lacks a plausible storyline. It expects its audience to get thrills out of violent acts and cars blowing up without any purpose. Gibson stated at a recent preview of this movie that he was challenged in playing a likeable villain. Truthfully, it is surprising that he would go with a script like this one. It was more interesting to watch some of the supporting cast members, such as Kris Kristofferson, James Coburn, David Paymer, and William Devane, who did the best with the parts they were given.

The saddest part of this movie is that it has absolutely no redeeming qualities at all. None of the characters learn any moral lessons, and the movie treats getting back stolen crime money as a heroic act. When asked at the preview why he doesn't make more family movies, Gibson pondered a bit and admitted that perhaps he should. Let's hope so.

IN BRIEF:

Playing the role of a morally reprehensible man named Porter, Mel Gibson leads an interesting cast in the dark, violent comedy, PAYBACK. Porter tries to get back his share of the take from a robbery. Porter's partner, played by Gregg Henry, stole the money and is involved in a sadomasochistic relationship. Complicating Porter's search is a prostitute and ex-girlfriend. What follows is a roller coaster ride of one violent scene after another as Porter tries to catch up with his double-crossing partner.

This action-packed movie does not have much substance or depth and lacks a plausible storyline. It expects its audience to get thrills out of violent acts and cars blowing up without any purpose. The saddest part of this movie is that it has absolutely no redeeming qualities at all. None of the characters learn any moral lessons, and the movie treats getting back stolen crime money as a heroic act. It is surprising that Gibson would go with a script like this one. It was more interesting to watch some of the supporting cast members, such as Kris Kristofferson, James Coburn and David Paymer, who did the best with the parts they were given.

In Brief: