I’ve long been a fan of Brian Helgeland and Mel Gibson’s film Payback. I always considered it a guilty pleasure though. I enjoyed Porter’s amusing quips and general disregard for most homo sapien. The film was just chock full of great characters – the two detectives, David Paymer’s character, Lucy Liu’s character, and of course Carter & Fairfax were both done up stellarly by Devane and Coburn. I really enjoyed the distinctive blue hue the film had. But it definitely was silly in many regards. Clearly it was a ‘Hollywood’ film.
I won’t include spoilers here, but I will say that the film is no longer a guilty pleasure. Last month Paramount released Payback Straight Up: The Director’s Cut. It is a different movie. New score. Much tighter. Much (much) darker. Minimal levity. Porter wants his money. Don’t get in his way. This is what Helgeland intended to release back when, but the studio pushed back – they wanted ground beef, not chateaubriand.
NOTE: do not watch the special features first – watch the movie first. Lots of spoilers in the special features.