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Payback (1999)

Director: Brian Helgeland     Starring: Mel Gibson
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Learn more about Payback:

Format: DVD
Sku: 203936277
UPC: 097360411645
UPC 14: 00097360411645
Category Keywords: Crime  Revenge  Theatrical Release  Thriller
See more in Drama
He's Back with a Vengeance!|He's Back with a Vengeance.
Mel Gibson gives an unforgettable performance in this explosive film from director Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential), which features a superb supporting cast including William Devane, Maria Bello and Lucy Liu.

The Director's Cut allows you to see Payback like you've never seen it before: through the eyes of its director. Experience a different version of Porter's (Gibson) drive to avenge those who took his money and left him for dead. Witness the real Payback.

"Taught, tough and mean, Payback is terrific!  Joel Siegel, Good Morning America
"...[an] entertaining festival of bullets and bad-asses...soaked with the usual Gibson charm...  Marcus Sakey, TNT's Rough Cut
"Payback is a thriller...  Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"...genuinely clever twists...a grittily compelling performance from Gibson.  Wade Major, Box Office Magazine
"Helgeland's film positively seethes with bad vibrations; it' existential hand grenade disguised as a heist film.  Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
"Like Dirty Harry, Payback is a sly edgy carnival of violence and revenge.  Spin Magazine

Editor's Note
Mel Gibson is Porter, a ruthless criminal, who is gunned down by his wife and friend after they rob an Asian gang. When Porter survives the attack, he makes it his mission to exact revenge on his friend, who has used the robbery money to buy his way into a powerful syndicate. Added to the mix are crooked police officers, members of the syndicate, and the Asian gang, who are out for a bit of revenge themselves. Based on the series of novels by Donald E. Westlake, which were translated to the screen previously in John Boorman's POINT BLANK (1967).


Video Features DVD, Widescreen, Director's Cut, English, Dolby, Digital Audio, Dolby Digital (5.1), No Longer Produced

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Paramount
Video Release Date Release Date: 8/17/2010
Video Play Time Running Time: 90 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 1999
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 041164
Video UPC UPC: 00097360411645
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English [CC], English, French Dubbed
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Widescreen  2.35:1
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review Payback - DVD
By: Matt Lawrence DVD Reviews
Published on: 3/30/2007 6:34 PM
“Nobody likes a monkey on their back. I had three. I was going to have to lighten the load”. Its dialogue like that that makes Payback the first great film of 1999. Everybody likes to watch jerks on screen. They walk around with a cockiness and lack of respect for anything and everyone that you can’t help but love to watch them. In this movie, I think everybody falls into this the full review
Expert Review Payback - Straight Up: the Director's Cut - DVD
By: Rafe Telsch Cinema Blend DVD Reviews
Published on: 4/4/2007 11:28 PM
The original advertising campaign for Payback was "Get Ready to Root For the Bad Guy," and with good reason. None of the characters in Brian Helgeland's adaptation of Donald Westlake's novel The Hunter are good guys. Even the film's protagonist, Porter (Mel Gibson) is rough around the edges. Actually, that's putting things lightly. The thug isn't above beating the crap out of women, let alone smashing faces and taking on a crime syndicate the full review

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info David Paymer
Video Cast Info Freddy Rodriguez
Video Cast Info Gregg Henry
Video Cast Info John Glover
Video Cast Info Kris Kristofferson
Video Cast Info Lucy Liu
Video Cast Info Maria Bello
Video Cast Info Mel Gibson
Video Cast Info Brian Helgeland - Director
Video Cast Info Brian Helgeland - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Bruce Davey - Producer
Video Cast Info Chris Boardman - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Donald E. Westlake - Based On Novel By
Video Cast Info Ericson Core - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info John Myhre - Director
Video Cast Info Kevin Stitt - Editor
Video Cast Info Stephen McEveety - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Terry Hayes - Screenplay

Professional Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
"...[PAYBACK] carries a low-down, vicious charge..." 03/12/1999 p.45

Box Office
"...[With] a grittily compelling performance from Gibson..." 04/01/1999 p.237

USA Today
"...This movie has it all..." 02/05/1999 p.11E

Chicago Sun-Times
"...Gibson has a whimsical charm..." 02/05/1999 p.31

Sight and Sound
"[A] satisfyingly uncompromising neo-noir, a fine valentine to the era of Siegel's CHARLEY VARRICK and Friedkin's THE FRENCH C ONNECTION." 08/01/2007 p.89

ReelViews 8 of 10
Payback is the most viscerally involving thriller to be released in the last several months. Granted, the plot is far from air-tight (in fact, towards the end, it begins to resemble Swiss cheese), but the adrenaline level is heightened to the point where you probably won't start noticing the flaws until the end credits have finished. That's not to say that Payback is cursed with a dumb script. Actually, it is well written, contains a flock of colorful characters, and gives star Mel Gibson a number of great one-liners. Just don't expect the experience to linger once the adrenaline rush has worn off...Directed by Brian Helgeland (the screenwriter for L.A. Confidential) in his feature debut, Payback is a re-make of John Boorman's 1967 edge-of-the-seat movie, Point Blank. Both films are based on The Hunter, a novel by Donald E. Westlake (writing under the nom de plume of "Richard Stark"). For those unfamiliar with Westlake's work, he's the screenwriter for such gripping thrillers as The Stepfather and The Grifters. And, while this latest version of The Hunter isn't quite up to the level of its predecessor, it still offers a rousing 100 minutes...Payback is surprisingly stylish for an action-oriented thriller. Its look is pure film noir, with de-saturated colors emphasizing the grayness of the city streets and gloomy interiors. The voiceover narrative (which, thankfully, isn't overused) is straight out of a potboiler, as the tough guy recounts his misfortunes with lines like "Old habits die hard - if you don't kick them, they kick you." One can almost hear Bogart uttering those words. And, while there's quite a bit more graphic bloodshed and brutality here than in any of the late screen icon's vehicles, Payback is a worthy '90s successor to his kind of movie. - James Berardinelli

Chicago Sun-Times 8 of 10
``Not many people know what their life's worth,'' the hero of ``Payback'' tells us right at the beginning. ``I do. Seventy grand. That's what they took from me. And that's what I'm gonna get back.'' If you absorb that statement and take a close look at the title, you'll have a good idea of what the movie's about. The only remaining question: Is it about it entertainingly? Yes...The movie's publicity makes much of the fact that the hero, named Porter, is a bad guy. It quotes the director, Brian Helgeland: ``I wanted to see a bad guy as the hero, but I didn't want to make excuses for him.'' Of course, if the bad guy is played by Mel Gibson, you don't have to make the same kinds of excuses as if he's played by, say, James Woods...Writing a screenplay like this essentially involves finding new bottles for old wine. Tricking the enemy is routine, but doing it in a new way is fun. Turning the tables is standard, but not when you don't expect when, and how, they'll be turned. And cinematographer Ericson Core finds a nice blue-green grittiness in the streets of Chicago, where the exterior scenes are punctuated by elevated trains rumbling past...There is much cleverness and ingenuity in ``Payback,'' but Mel Gibson is the key. The movie wouldn't work with an actor who was heavy on his feet, or was too sincere about the material. Gibson is essentially an action comedian, who enters into violence with a bemused detachment (``Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome''). Here he has fun as the movie goes over the top, as when a doctor operates on him for gunshot wounds, using whiskey as a painkiller (for the doctor, not Gibson). Or when he helps himself to the dollars from a beggar's hat. Or when, and how, he recites ``This Little Piggy.'' - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Gibson,Mel
Product attributeLabel:   Paramount Home Video
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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