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Kevin Costner in his early days managed to convey a rawness to his
characters that was seldom seen after he made "Dances with Wolves" and
became a successful producer. Films such as "No Way Out" (1987), "Bull
Durham" (1988) and of course "Revenge" (1990) showed him when he was
trying to establish his career and you could feel the actor at work
rather than the movie maker.
In "Revenge" Costner plays US Navy pilot Michael "Jay" Cochran who is retiring after 12 years in the service. He seems to have lost direction and wants to take some time out for himself. He plans first to go and see his old friend and Tennis partner Tiburon "Tibby" Mendez (Anthony Quinn) who is a powerful mob boss in Mexico. Exactly why they are friends is a little unclear but it seems that Tibby owes Jay a debt for saving his life at some point in the past. Once Jay arrives at the Mendez Hacienda he meets Miryea (Madeleine Stowe) Tibby's wife. Instantly attracted to one another and although initially fighting the chemistry between them, they begin an affair, which comes with massive consequences.
This film has elements of "The Wild Bunch" (1969) to it and the location shooting in Mexico adds so much to the atmosphere and tensity of the story. There are seamy and claustrophobic qualities to many of the situations which are enhanced beautifully by the background. The acting is nicely understated, Costner manages to display a barely restrained anger throughout the second part of the film and Anthony Quinn is convincing as the superficially charming but totally ruthless mobster. Madelaine Stowe is OK as the female lead but struggles with a Mexican accent and seems a bit uncomfortable with the innocence that her character is supposed to portray.
"Revenge" was commercially unsuccessful but is one of those movies that deserves to be seen. Costner, being an actor of limited range, was always best at these type of roles. When he behaves rather than acts, you get to see the best of him.
If I have any complaints, I believe the denouement of the story, although certainly interesting, doesn't quite fit. The build up to it promises something more of a violent showdown and the character of Jay would seem by this point to be poised to take his "revenge". Perhaps the downbeat finish was done to avoid "going Hollywood" with a big finale and as i mentioned it is certainly effective, but leaves a general feeling that there is business still to be done.
An interesting and entertaining movie that is well worth viewing.
'Revenge' has a recently retired fighter pilot (Kevin Costner) who goes
to the coastal city of Puerto Vallarta, to enjoy the hospitality of an
old friend he saves once his life on a hunting trip...
The possessive longtime friend has a wonderful-but-unhappy wife... Mireya (Madeleine Stowe) is an exotic young brunette, with great magnetism, who truly blew Costner's mind... Mireya embarks on a passionate affair, that naturally drives her husband 'Tibby' (Anthony Quinn) out of his mind...
Sexual tension is an integral part of Tony Scott's character's conflict... It rises off like heat emanating from the sand when the two lovers head in a jeep toward a nearby cute cabin... Costner and Stowe are attracted to one another, and naturally, the more they fight the attraction, the more they are thrown together...
Stowe's body comes alive at that brief caress, quickening her pulse, making her breath catch in anticipation... She experiences the heat in the slow slide of Costner's fingers, a passionate demand she couldn't help but respond to...
The plot is really predictable, and there's real high tension in the first part, but multiple stabbings, shootings, and beatings in the second, as the husband enters a storm of insane fury against the lovers...
'Revenge' is certainly a realm of brutality and pain, of love gone wrong and vengeance gone mad...
It has been nearly ten years since I last saw Revenge but I always have
this fond memory of how much it had an impact on me as it was a very
courageous project for Kevin Costner at that time. It started off like
this Top Gun rip off then turned into this beautiful tale of love,
passion and betrayal. Never have a seen a love story with so much
chemistry and have an ending which Hollywood would never dream of now
compared to back then.
Kevin Costner is an air pilot leaving the Navy to visit a very old friend Anthony Quinn. I can't remember why they were both such good friends to start off with, I think it was something to do with them both being in a war together or something along those lines. In the time they have been apart Quinn has married a beautiful women played by Madeline Stowe and he takes no time in getting them both acquainted. And in no time Costner and Stowe become a little to friendly and start to fall for each other but fight their best to avoid this.
What works perfectly is how Quinn knows how beautiful his wife is and how much he really knows without saying how much Costner wants her. This adds to the tension as he always makes Costner feel uncomfortable by asking him questions about how beautiful she is. It all erupts to you know what and I think most of the end is more like a western than anything. This is what turned the film around for me as they are some truly brutal scenes in this film and that's when the story really begins and the revenge from both sides of the story begin to take turn.
By the end of the film I was just surprised at how rare a film like this was back in the day when films weren't completely apart of Hollywood and followed there own path into making a decent film which is what Revenge delivers. Anthony Quinn didn't make many more films after this so this was a rare gem as his Quinn goes and this is a movie which you wouldn't expect Costner to be taking the lead.
I'd avoided this film for years, despite being a huge Costner fan, because people had described it as nearly unwatchable. On the advice of someone on the internet, I gave it a shot, and what a surprise! Although it'll never be one of my favorite films, it's certainly worthwhile, a highly engrossing (albeit graphically gory) trip through a wide and shifting range of emotions. Quinn gives his best performance since "Zorba," and Costner and Stowe are extremely good. The photography is extraordinary, and Mexican music has seldom been used so effectively. I'd recommend it to anyone with a strong stomach. The love scenes, by the way, are romantic AND sexy, a rare combination.
Certainly the ending of this film is extremely moving and literally takes your breath away. It leaves you with a feeling that you have probably seen something better than what you actually have. Of course Tony Scott is one of the most stylish directors about ie.- 'The Hunger'(1983) which has to be one of the most stylish films about. He's also made his fair share of blockbusters ie.-'Top Gun'(1985),'Beverly Hills Cop 2'(1987),'Days of Thunder'(1989) and more recently 'Enemy of the State'(1998)- all of which took a lot of money, the profits of the first one in particular bordering on the ridiculous. And don't forget he made the little seen(in the cinema anyway) but memorable 'True Romance'(1992). So you get the feeling that here Mr.Scot was making a picture trapped in-between both worlds- that of the blockbuster and the more personal picture. The film did only average in the box office and did not really make any kind of impact on any of the performer's careers.It is beautifully filmed with lots of trademark Scott shots ie- sun beams pouring through a drawn blind and mist covering the scenery. The violence is maybe a little too graphic. Costner goes through the motions somewhat in a character who is a mix of the roles he played in 'No Way Out'(1987) and 'The Bodyguard'(1992).He does his best acting in the final quarter of the picture where he shows well executed, muted regret and sorrow.Stowe is very attractive and impressive as Miryea who for the second half of the picture is dying slowly through a drugged daze. Anthony Quinn delivers a solid display as the larger than life Mexican gangster who after delivering his vengeance on Jay and Miryea becomes a sad, secluded old man who takes no pleasure in the measures he has taken but continues to justify them.Such a role is very undemanding for a legend like Quinn.Miguel Ferrer also has an undemanding role and John Leguziamo is impressive in an early career role as an eager but almost mute gunman who aids Costner.The plot is nothing special.The only interesting point is that Quinns character's vengeance, though excessive, is justifiable. Ultimately Jay and Miryea get their just deserts in the sense that both betrayed him through their secretive adultery which seems more born out of lust than love. The love between these two is not well enough developed to justify the beautiful ending to the film. If the couples relationship had been longer and not completely based around sex you could understand the emotion between them more.The piano track used for the two lovers is very touching and forms the perfect soundtrack for the memorable ending sequence. OVERALL- I give this picture 7/10. It is raised above average by the ending. Ultimately it is worth sitting through the picture,which is overlong, and paying attention to it just for the ending which is beautifully shot, romantic, captivating and probably one of the most heartbreakingly sad moments in film history(yes its that good). Even the most stoneyhearted will be touched.
This is a movie that I always enjoy watching, no matter how many times
I've seen it previously. Kevin Costner stars in what is one of his
better roles as the veteran pilot J. Cochran who retires from his job
in the navy and goes to Mexico to visit his old friend Tiburon "Tibey"
Mendez, played excellently by Anthony Quinn in what is one of his last
powerful performances. Madeleine Stowe plays Mendez' much younger wife
who catches Cochran's eye from the first moment. A passionate love
affair ensues, but with tragic consequences.
The theme of love, forbidden love, vs friendship/loyalty is worked out here in a striking way and it makes this a powerful and highly emotional film. Here we see the effect a betrayal can have on a man like Tiburon Mendez. Once the bridge is burned, there is no way back to his grace. Despite the fact that Cochran saved his life, he shows no mercy for him. When you break that old Mexican code, nothing else matters.
This film has a great photography with some visually stunning scenes, specially sunsets and sunrises and Costner and Stowe never looked better. That, together with the even performances and the suspenseful twists makes this a very enjoyable and for most a recommendable movie.7/10
Tony Scott loves his so-called good guys to be amoral anti-heroes. The more
ruthless they are, the better (after they've taken a pounding from the bad
guy first, natch). And whenever possible, he likes Mexico to be in the mix.
With that set-up, I could be describing 'Man On Fire', 'True Romance', or
1990's 'Revenge'. Since he unofficially remade 'Revenge' as 'Man On Fire'
earlier this year, I should just call up that review and replace Denzel
Washington's name with Kevin Costner's. Even though I'm seeing them out of
order, the 14-year-old flick is better. Scott even shows more grown-up
sensibilities than he usually does and directs his actors through believable
love scenes. I don't think he's been so unabashedly romantic since this
period in the early '90s.
Costner plays Jay Cochran, a cocky Navy pilot (shades of Maverick from 'Top Gun') who vacations in Mexico after retiring from the jet-set life. Playing host to the flier is a ruthless tycoon, Tibby Mendez (Anthony Quinn). The two men are old friends, despite the generation gap and the fact they have nothing in common. But just when you think Costner is going to have some fun, he has to go and fall in lust with Tibby's wife, Mireya (the heavenly Madeleine Stowe). [What beautiful kids those two actors would make.] They don't vault into bed immediately, but neither of them lets a little thing like loyalty to Tibby get in the way of their passion. When the husband finds out, Jay is severely beaten and Mireya is scarred & banished to a whorehouse.
You thought revenge would be Quinn's for his cuckolding? No, vengeance is Costner's. He spends most of the second hour of this bloody picture busting up anybody who might know what happened to his lover. 'Revenge' equals serious violence, no doubt about it. It's rare that the usually heroic Costner is given the chance to ride the gruesome line between good & evil. He's probably justified, but he DID betray his friend by bedding the man's wife. You don't do that in Mexico without waking up in the afterlife, so you might say Cochran got off easy. The tender climax is a bit of surprise from the the slick Scott, giving his otherwise angry film a heart. The movie might not be much fun, but the actors are pretty good and the story is always watchable. And violent.
Great film. Great story. Sleeper Tony Scott film with beautiful cinematography. If you like Costner or not, its still compelling. Great, powerful ending and truly romantic story of what love really means to a man. Great secondary characters. Anthony Quinn, Madeiline Stowe (best looking she has ever been) Miguel Ferrar, James Gammon. I saw this film when I was 21 and 15 years later, it still has a strong presence with me. The scenes between Stowe and Costner are great. The cloakroom scene is sexy and romantic and powerful- you may find yourself supplied with more inspiration next time you are with your significant other. Miguel Ferrar is strong here and gives a hint of the character work he will do in the future. James Gammon plays the usual down on his luck cowboy. John Leguizamo has a small but important part- one of his first films and Tony Scott will use him again. Costner is best when he plays Costner. It was one of the first DVDs I ever bought. I can't say enough- rent or buy this film. Its a romantic film but interesting enough for guys as well. Just be ready for your girlfriend to weep at the end.
When I first saw this film in the theaters I was 16,I went expecting a run of the mill thriller, but by the time this film was over,I was not only pleasantly surprised, but also surprisingly moved.In my life I'v seen hundreds of movies of all kinds and I have to say that this is the only movie I have seen in a theater where couples who had gone out on your standard Friday night movie outing began watching this film sitting side by side and ended it caressing and weeping in each others arms. At this time I was probably the youngest person in the theater and alone,sitting near the back of the theater, I was able to glance around the theater through out the film and watch young couples come to life emotionally towards one another. By the ending of this movie women were actually crying. I have never seen any film regardless of content affect people in this way. Bravo Tony Scott and Kevin Costner.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We are simultaneously swept away in the deep romance and passion of
this tragic pair of lovers, yet at a deeper level bothered by their
A best friend's betrayal through an adulterous liaison with his friend's trophy, but unhappy wife. The degree of selfishness of this pair is always present, even if hidden from plain sight. It is ugly and cannot be avoided. It is undeniably problematic to the utter beauty and innocence of this love story with which we all relate.
As with the biblical story of David and Bathsheba's illicit love affair for which God initially punished them, we identify with the courageous & unyielding love of Jay Cochran to reunite with the object of his affection.
This relationship they are in becomes a runaway train which sadly, ultimately crashes.
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