A veteran policeman, Murtaugh, is partnered with a younger, suicidal officer, Riggs. They both have one thing in common: hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
As homicide detective Thomas Craven investigates the death of his activist daughter, he uncovers not only her secret life, but a corporate cover-up and government collusion that attracts an agent tasked with cleaning up the evidence.
Porter is bad, but his neighbours are worse. Street-wise and tough, an ex-marine, he is betrayed by a one-time partner, and shot in the back by his junkie wife. He survives and returns, looking to recover his share from the robbery of an Asian crime gang. The money has passed into the hands of "the Outfit", a slick gangster organisation that runs the city. He has to make his way through a world populated by heroin dealers, prostitutes, sado-masochists, gunmen and crooked cops, a place where torture is a way of life. His only friend is a former employer, a prostitute, and her loyalty is in question, given she now works for the Outfit. He makes good early progress, but then falls into the hands of Fairfax, the crime boss. Written by
Writer/director Brian Helgeland was working on the script for Payback in friend and mentor Richard Donner's office on the Warner Brothers lot during post-production on their previous collaboration, Conspiracy Theory. One day, Helgeland had gathered his script pages and was on his way home when Donner asked if he could go to the ADR stage where he was scheduled to have a session with star Mel Gibson and inform him that he would be late. When Helgeland arrived at the stage, Gibson inquired about the script pages under his arm. After reading the first act, Gibson expressed interest in the project, but Helgeland informed him that he really wanted to direct it. Gibson offered that if he liked the finished script, he would give him a shot. Upon completion, Helgeland sent Gibson the script, expecting him to pass. After a couple of weeks, Gibson called and asked, "Can you be ready to shoot in twelve weeks?" See more »
When Porter is hit by Pearl and her group of thugs' car he is shown shooting his revolver, usually a 6 shot, 13 times and possibly more off camera, but he is shown actually pulling the trigger and the hammer dropping 13 times in frame. See more »
GSW: that's what the hospitals call it: gunshot wound. Doctor has to report it to the police. That makes it hard for guys in my line to get what I call, quality health care.
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Easily one of Gibson's best, and one of the best of it's kind you will ever see. Homage to film noir, combined with usual Gibson tongue-in-cheekness, and some fabulous supporting roles from the likes of Coburn, Kristofferson, Liu, and Devane. Henry does a stirling job here opposite Gibson. Liu is simply wonderful in a role that - worryingly perhaps - looks like it was made for her!
Porter's single-minded, no-nonsense determination to get what he sees as justice for himself strikes a chord, and has you rooting for him right to the end. This film rarely lets up on the intensity, and gets better as it goes along. It will make you laugh and cringe at the same time, but you won't want to take your eyes off the screen for a second. It looks good, feels good, and oozes class. Definitely a must-see.
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