The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.
A vicious London gangster, Jack Carter, travels to Newcastle for his brother's funeral. He begins to suspect that his brother's death was not an accident and sets out to follow a complex trail of lies, deceit, cover-ups and backhanders through Newcastle's underworld, leading, he hopes, to the man who ordered his brother killed. Because of his ruthlessness Carter exhibits all the unstopability of the android in Terminator, or Walker in Point Blank, and he and the other characters in the film are prone to sudden, brutal acts of violence. Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
If Shakespeare could have written a gangster movie, "Get Carter" would surely be the one. Jack Carter is the 1970s embodiment of classical tragic heroes like Hamlet or Macbeth. Also, in the finest Shakespearian tradition, as the film reaches its climax, the bodies begin to mount with alarming rapidity.
The film is initially a slow-burner, but what is arguably a career-best performance from Michael Caine sustains interest until the plot begins, in every sense, to kick in. And when it does, there's no stopping it, as Carter ruthlessly, and recklessly, sets about dealing with his enemies.
The industrial city of Newcastle is depicted as gritty, seedy and unapologetically working class. The grainy camerawork gives the impression that this is a real-life documentary rather than a gangster flick.
Probably every British gangster movie since has used "Get Carter" as a benchmark, particularly "The Long Good Friday", or even the revoltingly trendy "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". Any why shouldn't they? For the ultimate British gangster icon, you need look no further than Jack Carter and his silver Ford Cortina.
A genuine classic.
42 of 53 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?