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Payback | 1999 | R | - 6.9.8

Mel Gibson stars as a relatively likable criminal who goes on a revenge spree against his wife (Deborah Kara Unger), his ex-partner (Gregg Henry), and the crime syndicate they work for, after they double-cross him and try to kill him. Based on the novel "The Hunter" by Richard Stark, it was adapted previously in 1967 as "Point Blank," starring Lee Marvin. With Maria Bello, David Paymer, Lucy Alexis Liu, William Devane, James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson and Bill Duke. Directed by Brian Helgeland.

SEX/NUDITY 6 - Several explicit sexual references and sexual innuendo, and some passionate kissing. We see some cleavage, an almost topless woman, a woman in a derriere-revealing thong and a woman in revealing sadomasochistic leather or plastic outfits. A painting on a wall displays a topless woman. A woman rubs a man's nipples while sexually excited. In a few sadomasochistic scenes we see a couple hit each other, and a man hanging upside down with clips on his nipples (he's screaming). A man caresses a woman's thigh and clothed breast.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 9 - There are several fights (including one boxing match), some between men and a few between men and women; most include punching and kicking and we often see bloody, cut faces afterwards. There are also many shootings. An exchange of fire between two cars involves machine guns and leaves several people dead (we see one man being shot many times in the back, making lots of small, bloody wounds). A woman shoots a man several times, and when he's down another man kicks his head (we see a pool of blood forming around his body). A man shoots a man's shoulder, then his knee, then puts a pillow over his face and shoots him execution-style (we later see his dead body on the floor and the bloody gunshot wound on his head). A man shoots and kills another (we see a small, bloody gunshot wound on his chest). A dog is shot, but not killed. We see a man with a bloody face and two very bloody gunshot wounds on his back; another man pulls the bullets out of his back and stitches the wounds (the scene is reflected in his glasses). A man punches another man several times and tears his nose ring off (his nose gets bloody), a woman punches, kicks and whips a man, and a man hits a woman with a pistol. In a torture scene, a man is punched in the face (we see lots of bloody cuts) and his toes are smashed with a hammer (we see his face writhing in pain while we hear the sound the hammer makes). A man slams a bar countertop onto another man's hand, and a man repeatedly smashes another man's head onto a taxi's divider. A man violently pushes a woman against a wall, pulls her by her hair, chokes her and threatens to rape her. A lot of threatening with guns and knives. Two cars collide head-on and we see men with bloody cuts on their faces in one of the cars; a man from the other car attacks one of the wounded men and repeatedly kicks and smashes his head on the dashboard. A man is hit by a car several different times (each time he gets a few bloody cuts on his head and limps for a bit). It's implied that a man has bloodied another man's ear (we don't see what happened, but we see blood all over the man's ear, neck and clothes). A couple of explosions kill several people. We see a dead woman with a syringe in her bruised arm.


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LANGUAGE 8 - About 40 F-words, lots of scatological terms, a few anatomical terms, lots of mild profanities and lots of insults.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Revenge, infidelity and betrayal, criminal organizations, sadomasochism, drug use.

MESSAGE - Revenge can be sweet.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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