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Payback (1999) Movie Information

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Payback (1999)
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Crime, Drama





Theater Date:



Brian Helgeland


Mel Gibson
Gregg Henry
Maria Bello
David Paymer
Bill Duke
Deborah Kara Unger





Plot Outline:

Porter and his partner has just netted $140,000, but his partner needs $130,000 of it and uses his junkie wife to shoot him in the back. Porter lives, and a year-and-a-half later, tracks down his partner, now part of "the syndicate" to get his money back. -- Chris Kavan

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Quick Movie Reviews

Matthew Brady 10/13/2013 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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Pay back is cold.

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Yojimbo 05/19/2012 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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This semi-remake of Point Blank sees Mel Gibson robbed and left for dead by his wife and erstwhile partner and he promptly sets out for revenge. Once again Hollywood attempts to revisit film noir without understanding how it worked; noir was all about hardboiled dialogue and attitude, not macho posturing and ugly violence. It starts off well but soon descends into a collection of racial stereotypes, comedy S&M hookers and Laurel & Hardy-esque corrupt cops spouting cliches. Everything about this film feels second rate, from the drab photography to the B-grade supporting cast, from which only veteran tough guy James Coburn rises above the mundane. It has some decent moments, but give me Lee Marvin any time.

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mitchellyoung 03/05/2012 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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Payback is a dark attempt at noir, without the creativity, wit, or visual cues that represent the best of the genre. Instead, the film is a brutal (often too brutal) and violent journey through a seedy world of crime and revenge. Anti-hero plots work well, but there has to be something - something at all - likable or interesting about the anti-hero for them to work. Here, Mel Gibson's character is often angry, sullen, and despicable and without someone to truly root for in the film, the revenge he exacts feels empty and cruel.

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Snoogans 11/14/2011 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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It's mostly mediocre material, but the actors and director give it that hard boiled noir-ish style. Paired with the violence and revenge plot, this makes 'Payback' more entertaining than it ought to be.

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Bribaba 05/27/2011 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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A remake of John Boorman's Point Blank that is inferior in every respect. In place of Lee Marvin we now get Mad Mel Gibson, as laughable as ever when he tries to act tough. Even the Chicago setting feels wrong in comparison to the California of the earlier film. Indeed, the only useful purpose this terrible film serves is to illustrate how American film-making has declined in the thirty-two years since Boorman's film hit the screens. Note the careful story-telling in that film; the cinematography and prophetic comment on corporate anonymity. In it's place you get a piece of work that looks its been directed by a machine and scripted by a chimp.

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Full Movie Reviews


03/09/2013 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

Payback’s a bitch!

Mel Gibson plays a small-time crook named Porter, who is double crossed by his partner-in-crime Val Resnick (Gregg Henry) and his wife (Deborah Kara Unger) after a heist of $140,000 from an Asian Mob robbery. They did not plan, on him recovering afterwards. Now, Porter is out for revenge and the sum of $70,000, his agreed payment in the robbery gone awry.

There is a nice undercurrent of black humor, which lingers during the whole film and the storyline moves along quickly with fast turns, and contains all of the essential action components: guns, bombs, babes, and dead people as Porter goes up against "The Syndicate", corrupt cops and the Asians he stole the money from with the help of the hooker with a heart of gold. As Porter rightly claimed; he didn't just have a monkey on his back...

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