During the DVD documentaries and commentaries included in this version of Payback, director Brian Helgeland states that he can now appreciate the theatrical, audience-friendly cut created from his movie. At the time he wrote and directed Payback, his commentary reveals that with the 1970's, gritty, crime-drama tableau, the unhappy ending was in keeping with the outcomes of so many of the popular films of that period. See more »
When Porter and Val run their Nova into the Chows' car, although the cars have impacted and come to a dead stop, the reaction shot of Porter and Val shows buildings still moving past the side windows. Also, Porter's head has snapped forward all the way to the steering wheel before Val even reacts to the crash. See more »
Oh, I bet you got a lot of questions rattling around in your head.
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I liked the "original" cut of this film, but this was really something. Rarely do we see a cut where the last act is almost completely changed. Some characters are completely scrapped and whole new happenings take place. I believe this cut is more in line what director Helgeland originally had in mind.
This cut is a little more violent and straightforward. The confrontation with Porter and his wife is longer and better, but most of the differences are at the end. None of those convenient, Hollywoodish shenanigans that the theatrical cut had in the last act (which I didn't even mind that much, I like that cut too), but just plain old "from A to B" material with nice, gritty execution instead.
When you're a little over 60 minutes in, you'll see the change. It's a whole other movie from that point on. Gone is Mel Gibson's voice-over narration too.
I gave the theatrical version 8/10, and this one is just more satisfying and tonally intact, so 9/10 it is. A simple, unapologetic old-fashioned revenge thriller with plenty of action and just enough humor to make it stand out.
I'm happy to own the blu-ray which includes both versions. Certainly worth the price. If you like good old Mel's movies and haven't seen this, you should. Recommended for action lovers.
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