Nick Hume is a mild-mannered executive with a perfect life, until one gruesome night he witnesses something that changes him forever. Transformed by grief, Hume eventually comes to the disturbing conclusion that no length is too great when protecting his family.
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 sits on the sidewalk to wait for Rosie, the blue backpack is about a foot behind him. Although Porter later says "Backpack, backpack," and Rosie replies, "Got it," when Rosie first comes around the car, the backpack is nowhere to be seen. See more »
Oh, I bet you got a lot of questions rattling around in your head.
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Still wish Maria Bello & Lucy Liu had bigger roles
What I was hoping for in the director's cut of Payback is extended roles for Maria & Lucy. Lucy is absolutely hilarious in this film, with some great lines ("I need some satisfaction"), and her interaction with Porter ("I have a few minutes", "Go boil an egg") was just magnificent. There is some extension to the scene where Rosie & Porter meet up again, and she gets more of a part in the finale of the film. But Lucy definitely needed more of a role! Having watched both versions of Payback within the same day, I was shocked at how different they are. The original version of Payback is a lot darker, almost black & white in some parts, but this version keeps the colour. The beginning loses the opening of a doctor digging bullets out of Porter's back, and starts with him returning to the city, with no indication of a double-cross just yet until the flashback appears. It also appears to be cut together much better, and give the first few scenes a much quicker feeling. Porter no longer has a voice-over either. The scene with his wife is extended as well, leading to a more brutal confrontation, which leads more into him carrying her into the bedroom. Also, Porter the dog doesn't survive in this version. Big awww. The torture scenes are also cut from the film, and the boss's son who was originally going to get together with Rosie as his birthday present.
The finale is a load better, as in the old version, I did find myself getting bored, but the finale is more abrupt, and unexpected. Maria Bello gets a bigger role in the finale, although it does leave viewers hanging a bit, but I won't spoil it for anyone that hasn't seen it yet.
The only thing I'm gutted at is the low-class hooker, who Porter approaches when he's looking for Rosie, is completely cut from the film. Which is a shame, as she totally reminded me of the hooker from Pretty Woman that was Julia Robert's roommate. She's funny as well, despite the shortness of her scene.
Overall, I have to say I prefer the director's cut of Payback. Sometimes you find with some directors cuts, they tend to go a bit OTT, and keep in all the scenes which really weren't necessary, but this is well edited, and changing the finale was a really good idea. And seeing it in HD is well worth while too, if you can get your hands on it. I do like the idea of having it almost black & white, and I did miss it in this version. But it's well worth seeing if you want a different take on the film.
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