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Movie of the Day – Payback

Posted on the 28 January 2013 by Plotdevice39 @PlotDevices

Just a perfect excuse to post this song.

Porter (Mel Gibson) is pulled into a heist by his old friend, Val (Brian De Palma regular, Gregg Henry). As they’re stealing $130,000 in laundered drug money from Chinese Triads, no one is going to call the police. Everything goes smoothly until Porter’s wife, Lynn (Deborah Kara Unger), shoots Porter in the back. After Val had shown Lynn a photo of Porter in the arms of another girl (Maria Bello), the two planned the double-cross together to pay off Val’s mob debts so he could return to “The Syndicate.” They didn’t plan well enough, though, because five months later Porter’s back, a complete sociopath who wants his $70,000. ~ Chris Gore, Rovi

Listen, I don’t care what side of the line you fall on in the case of loving or hating Mel Gibson, but I rather enjoy his movies and what happens in his personal life is his business.  As long as he can keep making entertaining and solid movies, that man can be a giant prick in his personal life as I can seemingly divorce both his professional and personal life.  With that said, Payback is a solid little revenge flick, one that has Gibson just being a malicious and dead set man on a mission to get his seemingly paltry sum of money back.  It’s a fairly blunt story, almost a bit mediocre in the sense that the dialog and pacing seeming off for a gritty revenge flick, but Gibson carries it like a champ, charming and shooting his way through the movie.

Payback 1b

Payback is either a really love it or hate it movie from people that I have talked to about it.  It’s a chance to see Gibson be this despicable character while he kills off other despicable people.  Not sure who to root for in that case, but Gibson is really relentless in this movie.  A seething man with a lack of emotions that end up hiding his true motive.  It’s weird seeing someone almost wake walk through each scene and kill people with a rather unflinching demeanor.  Gibson kind of plays it off as the cheeky rapscallion who just wants his money and is annoyed that he has to kill so many people to get it.  Again the funny thing is, he is only going after $70,000 as if it is this incredible life changing amount.  Even the villains in the movie are more perplexed that he is destroying everything in his path for such a small amount.  I think that’ why I like this movie a lot, he is a main of staunch principles and he want’s what is his and nothing more.

It’s a gritty little revenge flick, seemingly washed in this grey, shiny undertone that I really enjoy.  It’s not a movie in which there is a lot to be happy about since it’s all about the underworld of crime syndicates and bad, bad people.  Payback gets down to the brass tacks as best as it can, but the directing and story writing is crappy as can be, but having Gibson in the lead helps out this movie a lot.  Sure, there isn’t much to this movie other than a lot of shooting, bad people dying, and fairly brutal torture scene, but it does have a grimy feel to watching the underworld get undone by one of their own.  Gibson is brutal, darkly funny at times, and charming to a degree in this movie that makes it memorable for me.  See it for a solid acting performance from Gibson and for a grounded hard boil revenge flick that is light on story.

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