Directed By: Brian Helgeland Starring: Mel Gibson

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Product Overview

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.


Studio Paramount
SKU 203936277
UPC 097360411645
UPC 14 00097360411645
Format DVD
Release Date 8/17/2010
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
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).
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
Brian Helgeland
Mel Gibson
Cast & Crew
Brian Helgeland - Director
Brian Helgeland - Screenplay
Bruce Davey - Producer
Chris Boardman - Original Music By
David Paymer - Actor
Donald E. Westlake - Based On Novel By
Ericson Core - Cinematographer
Freddy Rodriguez - Actor
Gregg Henry - Actor
John Glover - Actor
John Myhre - Director
Kevin Stitt - Editor
Kris Kristofferson - Actor
Lucy Liu - Actor
Maria Bello - Actor
Mel Gibson - Actor
Stephen McEveety - Executive Producer
Terry Hayes - Screenplay
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1999
Catalog ID 041164
UPC 00097360411645
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 90 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English, French Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  2.35:1
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review 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.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review ``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.''
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Widescreen, Director's Cut, English, Dolby, Digital Audio, Dolby Digital (5.1), No Longer Produced
Product Attributes
Actor Gibson,Mel
Label Paramount Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Joel Siegel, Good Morning America Taught, tough and mean, Payback is terrific!
Marcus Sakey, TNT's Rough Cut ...[an] entertaining festival of bullets and bad-asses...soaked with the usual Gibson charm...
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly Payback is a thriller...
Wade Major, Box Office Magazine ...genuinely clever twists...a grittily compelling performance from Gibson.
Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle Helgeland's film positively seethes with bad vibrations; it' existential hand grenade disguised as a heist film.
Spin Magazine Like Dirty Harry, Payback is a sly edgy carnival of violence and revenge.

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