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Michael "Jay" Cochran has just left the Navy after 12 years. He's not quite sure what he's going to do, except that he knows he wants a holiday. He decides to visit Tiburon Mendez, a powerful but shady Mexican businessman who he once flew to Alaska for a hunting trip. Arriving at the Mendez mansion in Mexico, he is immediately surprised by the beauty and youth of Mendez' wife Miryea. Their attraction to each other is undeniable, but Cochran is aware that Mendez is a powerful, vindictive, and very possessive man who does not tolerate betrayal.Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
The name of Stowe's character, Miyrea, is an anagram of Stowe's real-life, Costa Rican mother, Mireya. See more »
Miryea asks Jay how he knows Spanish, Jay responds that he was stationed in Madrid for three years. Naval Aviators are required to make so many hours of flying time per month to retain their wings, so the nearest Naval Base would be at Rota, Spain. Rota is far from Madrid and due South of Lisbon, Portugal. See more »
Clichéd, pulpy source material elevated by fine filmmaking and performances
As spotty as Tony Scott's filmography was, it's easy to forget how good he could be. This is my first time seeing REVENGE and I must say that I was surprised by how emotionally involving and artfully directed it was, despite relying on a number of genre clichés. Kevin Costner plays Michael "Jay" Cochran, a 12-year Navy veteran who has just left the service and goes to see his friend, Tiburon Mendez (Anthony Quinn), in Mexico. While there, he ends up falling in love with Tibey's (as his friends call him) beautiful, young wife Miryea (Madeleine Stowe). When Tibey finds out about this, leaves Jay for dead and throws Miryea away in a whorehouse. The remainder of the film is Jay going back to rescue Miryea. Hopefully I haven't given too much away, but the film is 25 years old and there has to be a statute of limitations on spoilers, even if they're small. Since I liked more than I disliked, I'll just get the negative stuff out of the way first. I mentioned earlier that this film relies on genre clichés. One such example, and very key to establishing the central character relationship is the history shared by Tibey and Jay. Apparently, they were hunting buddies and Jay saved Tibey's life one time, so now Tibey is in debt to Jay. That's something that's been done to death in countless films before and since, but it wouldn't be such an issue if that wasn't the extent of it. It was just hard for me to buy that a Navy pilot would have it in so good with a Mexican power broker/kingpin. I also thought the romance that develops between Jay and Miryea was rather cliché, even if it was well-performed. And to be fair, this movie has some great performances in it. Kevin Costner was his usual likable self, and veteran actor Anthony Quinn was great as his world-weary foil. Madeleine Stowe did fine, but isn't given much to do besides be the damsel in distress once confined to the whorehouse. Now, on to the positives (the rest). This is probably one of Tony Scott's best-directed films, and came a decade or so before he started using his much ripped-off MTV shooting style. There were some really artful shots, e.g., a fire being reflected in sunglasses or beautiful shots of the Mexican terrain. Even the sex scenes were shot well. I also really liked the score, which struck a fine balance between melancholy and tension. But most of all, and despite the clichéd elements, the characters were well written and developed, and the performances really elevated the rather pulpy source material. Overall, REVENGE is an artful, occasionally thoughtful action thriller that probably deserves more attention than it got/currently gets. It might have a shaky dramatic foundation, but it's definitely worth seeing for what's built around and on top of it.
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