7.1/10
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420 user 128 critic

Payback (1999)

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0:42 | Clip
After a successful heist, Porter is left for dead. Once he recovers, he seeks vengeance and wants his share of the money.

Director:

Brian Helgeland

Writers:

Donald E. Westlake (novel) (as Richard Stark), Brian Helgeland (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,379 ( 408)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Porter
Gregg Henry ... Val Resnick
Maria Bello ... Rosie
David Paymer ... Arthur Stegman
Bill Duke ... Det. Hicks
Deborah Kara Unger ... Mrs. Lynn Porter
John Glover ... Phil
William Devane ... Carter
Lucy Liu ... Pearl (as Lucy Alexis Liu)
Jack Conley ... Det. Leary
Kris Kristofferson ... Bronson
Mark Alfa Mark Alfa ... Johnny's Friend #2
Kwame Amoaku ... Radioman
Justin Ashforth ... Michael, Bartender #1
Len Bajenski Len Bajenski ... Fairfax Bodyguard #1
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Storyline

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 Kwah-LeBaire

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Get ready to cheer for the bad guy! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language, and drug and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At 18 mins.) An old French Citron is visible in the warehouse scene, and Helgeland theorizes "some French heisters left it there two years ago on a job and haven't come back for it." See more »

Goofs

when Porter gets in the cab with Stegman, the windows repeatedly change from clear to frosted/foggy with every interior/exterior shot of the cab. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Porter: [voiceover] 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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Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version and all subsequent video and DVD releases were cut by 5 seconds to remove the use of a butterfly knife. The Blu-ray reinstates the previously cut footage. See more »


Soundtracks

Sway
Written by Luis Demetrio and Pablo Beltrán Ruiz, English lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Performed by Dean Martin
Courtesy of Capitol Records
under License from EMI Music Special Markets
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User Reviews

 
It's just plain mean!
7 February 1999 | by Zephyr-9See all my reviews

Payback, while admittedly one of the more violent movies out this year, was definitely an entertaining flick.

Like the promo catch phrase says, this time you'll root for the bad guy. If Gibson's character has any redeeming qualities, they are on a very short list. Porter (Gibson) is violent, at times even cruel and the other characters aren't much better; some are worse. Every character is from the wrong side of the tracks, even the cops are on the take and there are no punches pulled. The only character you can really feel is a "good guy" is Rose, the stereotypical Callgirl with a heart of gold (although it's maybe only 10 karat, not a real 24 karat heart).

Nevertheless, you will root for Porter. Frankly, I don't think anyone else could have pulled off this role and still kept the support of the audience like Gibson did, but then he generally always plays the good guy with a twist. This time, the twist is a little more savage than usual.

All in all, if you enjoy the occasional violent romp on the big screen and you're a fan of Mel Gibson; Payback is worth seeing.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Porter See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,221,526, 7 February 1999

Gross USA:

$81,526,121

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$161,626,121
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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