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Payback (1999)
Front Cover Actor
Mel Gibson
Gregg Henry
Movie Details
Director Brian Helgeland
Language English
Audience Rating R (Restricted)
Running Time 101 mins
Country USA
Color Color
They 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

Personal Details
Seen It Yes
Index 147
Collection Status In Collection
Links Amazon US
Amazon UK
Product Details
Format DVD
Region 2
Screen Ratio 2.35:1
UPC (Barcode) 097363363279
Release Date 27.07.1999
Subtitles Bulgarian; English; Romanian
Audio Tracks English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1