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Revenge (DC)
DVD disk
05.18.2007 By: Mathew Plale
Revenge (DC) order
Director:
Tony Scott

Actors:
Kevin Costner
Madeleine Stowe
Anthony Quinn

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In this director's cut of Tony Scott's 1990 film, a fling develops between a retired naval pilot (Costner) and a mob boss' delicious wife (Stowe). But when the boss (Quinn) discovers the affair, it pits both men against each other in search of...revenge!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Let’s get this out of the way: I haven’t seen the theatrical cut. This Unrated Director’s Cut trims out nearly 25 minutes, which according to director Tony Scott, tightens the film to achieve a greater sense of intensity (and sexuality) for his film. Now onto the review…

Thank God Scott hadn’t yet discovered his trademark self-destructive style of camerawork that has obliterated his most recent films. Revenge relies more on the story than cinematography (which is still quite good here) to enhance the film. Unfortunately for Scott, there isn’t enough plot to sustain 100 minutes, let alone the theatrical 124.

With a revenge film, our hero’s got to have a bit more motivation than a girl, even if it is Madeleine Stowe (who is erotic in every form of the word here, thanks to Scott’s sex-hungry camera). Costner’s Cochran is too naïve to really root for, he’s not the romantic he should be, and doesn’t realize that it’s worth dying for love, but not lust. We can believe the fling, but not the feelings. Re-edited for this cut are wildly steamy sex scenes between the two that pepper the first half of the film, which leaves me with one question: you can do that in a Jeep?! And here I am with my lousy Ford Taurus…

When the fling between Miryea (Stowe) and Cochran is sniffed out by mob boss Tibby (the superb Anthony Quinn), it sparks a savage beating that rivals what Scott would revisit in True Romance between Virgil and Alabama. But we’re a lot less shocked than the oblivious Cochran is to see Miryea’s cheeks split like Elizabeth Short’s. It’s at this moment that we realize that Stowe’s character is merely a teaser to get to the main event—a showdown between Costner and Quinn, which is far different from (and less exciting as) Costner’s climax with Stowe.

Between the Joker-esque look Quinn gives Stowe and the final showdown, not a whole hell of a lot happens. Costner goes into a paranoiac hiding, waiting to seek his revenge (which, from my research, is where they got the title).

So, it is what it is. Revenge is a {ahem} revenge movie that doesn’t offer any answers for its characters, like why Cochran thinks he could get away with having an affair with his villainous friend’s sultry wife. Scott offers up some great action (which he usually excels with) and a few hot, rugged sex scenes, but not enough brains in this unsatisfying, empty tale of…revenge.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Director Tony Scott: Scott seems pleased to revisit his 1990 film. He’s eager to delve into what makes this Director’s Cut so much better than the theatrical version, like the increased intensity, tightened scenes, and more explicit sex. Right on.

Obsession: The Sex and Violence of Revenge (14:45): This boring featurette goes into the evolvement of Revenge, from the attached directors (Pollack, Coppola, etc.), the casting, and more.

And Theatrical Trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Revenge doesn't offer up enough story for its running time and goes nowhere for a good chunk of it. But even with its paperthin plot, there are occasional moments that make the film exciting (I'm lookin' at you, Stowe!).
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