When a multimillionaire man's son is kidnapped, he cooperates with the police at first but then turns the tables on the kidnappers when he uses the ransom money as a reward for the capture of the kidnappers.
With personal crises and age weighing in on them, LAPD officers Riggs and Murtaugh must contend with deadly Chinese triads that are trying to free their former leaders out of prison and onto American soil.
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
James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson appeared in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973). See more »
Porter & Stegman step outside to talk. In the conversation that follows, Porter's back is in shadow then in bright sunshine. 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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Director Brian Helgeland's cut was significantly changed by producer/star Mel Gibson before release and was 15 minutes shorter than the final version. Here are some of the differences to Gibson's highly publicized reshoot version of the film that was released into the theaters.
No voiceover of Porter
The opening shot of Porter in the doctor's office is not in Helgeland's cut. The film begins with Porter on the bridge returning to the city. Brian's cut doesn't suggest the double-cross until we see the flashback.
A more harsh exchange when Porter visits Rosie (Maria Bello) for the first time.
Odds and ends with Val Resnick (Gregg Henry) throughout the film. Includes a curbside threat to the David Paymer character and a funny scene calling Pearl (Lucy Liu) on the phone.
A small exchange between Porter and the Asian gang.
When Val breaks in and beats up Rosie, Porter the dog gets shots in the head and remains dead. In Mel's cut, the dog lives.
The two versions of the film begin to change greatly when Porter confronts Fairfax (James Coburn). The dialog is different and the outcome of the scene is changed.
Bronson the Outfit boss is played by Sally Kellerman rather than Kris Kristoffersen. She's never seen in the film, instead interacting with Porter over speakerphones. When Porter begins to kill her associates, the boss almost immediately gives in to Porter's demands. In Mel's cut, the boss was a bigger character and provided a bigger climax. All the boss's son and torture scenes are not in Brian's cut of the movie.
The climax of the film takes place on a mass transit platform. Porter arranges to pick up his cut of the money, but the boss dispatches hitmen to stop him. He gets the money, but is shot in the chest. Stumbling out of the station, he drops the bag and a homeless man picks it up. Porter refuses to put up a fight and begins to die. Rosie finds him and slaps him back to life. Porter suggests a doctor he knows can patch him up. The final shot is of the two driving out of town.
A modern-day film noir, this is about as tough as it gets. Rough characters, rough violence and rough language all comprise this re-make of the 1967 film "Point Blank," which starred Lee Marvin.
Mel Gibson is the "good guy" here, taking Marvin's role, but I put that in quotes because he's not really "good," just a thief attempting to get his $70,000 back which was stolen from him by his partner and ex-wife in a former heist. He goes up the ladder, little guy to the top boss, to finally get his money.
Gibson gets beaten up several times and even gets tortured in one toes- crunching scene. The women are tough-looking, coarse and unappealing. I did like the metallic-blue hues in here, making this an interesting visual film. However, the city scenes are bleak, a la Batman.
Despite the above, I still found the movie good enough to watch several times. Most people like a simple, revenge story which this really is, and there is dark humor in here, too. The other characters are interesting, particularly the one played by William Devane. I also liked the narration by Gibson, done in 1940s film noir style. The worst person in here was the sadistic "Val Resnick" (Gregg Henry). He was so bad, he was cartoon-ish, someone so bad he belonged in one of those Batman or Hellboy or Spiderman flicks.
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