Payback (1999)

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 09/27/98 01:15:14

"Mel Gibson getss ornery again! Then gets stupid."
4 stars (Worth A Look)

Mel Gibson has lately dwelled in the 'goofball with the heart of gold' role. He hasn't been a true bad boy since Mad Max, but oooooooh Nelly, has he got himself some kahoonas here. He's Lee Marvin up and down.. until...

There's been controversy involving this film being taken over by Mel after it was in the can and... changed. Word is Mel decided it needed directorial help and took over, and let me tell you, you can see it on the screen.

Mel's a con man who get's ripped off by a partner to the tune of seventy G's. Looking to get his vengeance and his cash back, Mel blazes a trail of destruction. And it must be said, Mel gets back to his Mad Max roots in a big way. He's intense as all hell, and the movie fairly rocks.. but then suddenly things change and Mel turns into his old hammy self. Why he felt the need to bring his wacky Lethal Weapon persona into a movie that was chugging along on it's own quite nicely is beyond me.

I'm not a fan of the action film scene, it generally seems to full of easy options and cash over character, but Payback looked like it might have the balls to break out of the recent slurry of ditzy shitty action films... if only Mel hadn't stuck his overpaid, underthought snoot in.

A wasted opportunity. Such promise, such a downer.

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