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
One major addition to the movie after Brian Helgeland left included 'Kris Kristofferson''s character of the main villain. The re-shoots resulted in a delay of almost one year, because Mel Gibson was committed to Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) right after principal photography ended. See more »
When Val is threatening Rosie on the floor of her apartment, shots of her show the gun solidly under her chin, while shots of him show the gun hanging loosely inside of his knee. 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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Payback directed by Brian Helgeland is a classic "film noir" following the tradition of urban "gangster movies" and Mel Gibson is giving an outstanding performance as Porter - the bad guy who is only slightly better than the rest of the gangsters, hoodlums, crooks and scoundrels to be met in the film.
"Payback" is a great movie in this genre. Donald E. Westlake, who has written the novel on which the film is based, has picked up the thread of Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett to create an authentic universe with "real" characters, and Brian Helgeland has succeeded to bring this universe to the screen.
Everything about this movie is great - the storyboard, the cast, the direction and the soundtrack. This film bears resemblance to Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" and if you have seen "the Maltese Falcon" starring Bogart, you should definitely see "Payback".
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