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Trevor St. John Movies

PAYBACK



PaybackThey stole his money, turned his woman against him, and left him for dead. Now tough-guy poster child Porter (the appropriately world-weary Mel Gibson) is back, bad to the bone, and a mite ticked off at the Organization that done him wrong. Mucho macho carnage ensues.

It took some major guts for first-time director (and Oscar winner for the script of L.A. Confidential) Brian Helgeland to take a shot at adapting Donald Westlake's pseudonymous, legendarily gritty novel The Hunter for the screen (especially considering that director John Boorman and irresistible force Lee Marvin had already produced a fairly definitive rendering of the source material with their enigmatic 1967 masterpiece Point Blank ). Nonetheless this novice auteur managed to pull out a winner. Put simply, this compulsively watchable piece of scuzz-art hits like a well-placed Magnum round, with a wonderful '70s vibe and an awesome rogues' gallery of baddies (including James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, William Devane, and the riotously sadistic Lucy Liu) for the charmingly battered star to play off of--and ultimately wade through.

Although this enjoyably seedy roll through the gutter of Crime Alley does occasionally threaten to wander off its downturned track (hands-on producer Gibson reportedly stepped in at the last moment to make his antihero a little more heroic), the final result is an admirably pulpy, distinctly dirty slice of neo-noir liberally marinated in blood, blue smoke, and bourbon. This particular payback's one tough little SOB, indeed. --Andrew Wright --

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MORE MOVIES & TV SHOWS

The Mentalist (TV Series)
The Vampire Diaries (TV Series)
The Client List
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The Art Of Getting Over It (Short Film)
My Soul to Take (Movie)
Bourne Ultimatum (Movie)
The Kingdom (Movie)
Crimson Tide (Movie)

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