Payback (1999)

PAYBACK is a long, gleefully sadistic sit.  Screenwriter Brian 
Helgeland (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL) makes his directing debut in this 
mean-but-hardly-lean revenge thriller/Mel Gibson vehicle/feature-
length pissing contest.  Violent as all get out, it's also damn 
funny.  The superb supporting cast includes Bill Duke, David Pay-
mer, James Coburn, and Kris Kristofferson.  And the bleached film 
stock looks *fabulous*.  The story behind the story is that all of 
Kristofferson's scenes were added after Helgeland walked off the 
picture and Mel hired someone else to finish the film.  As its 
told, Angie Dickinson (voice only) originally played the big boss.   
Toe-smashing fun, with Maria Bello, Gregg Henry, William Devane, 
John Glover, and Deborah Kara Unger.  The script, credited to Terry 
Hayes and Helgeland, is based on Donald Westlake-writing-as-Richard 
Stark's novel "The Hunter."  (Rated "R"/102 min.)

Grade: C+
Copyright 1999 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros                      

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