Review Date: October 04, 2000
Director: Stephen T. Kay
Writer: David McKenna
Producers: Mark Canton, Neil Canton & Elie Samaha
Sylvester Stallone as Jack Carter
Rachael Leigh Cook
A professional "financial adjuster" (aka mob enforcer) comes home after hearing of his younger brother's death and questions the drinking and driving story which apparently killed him. The man suspects foul play and goes looking for payback. He kicks a lot of ass, asks a lot of questions and then kicks a little more ass. He also gets to know his late brother's daughter a little better.
Although not an action movie as portrayed in the hip trailer, this highly stylized crime film worked for me despite its slow pace and somewhat predictable story line, because of the sharp turn given by Sly Stallone, its groovy tunes and its generally dark and gritty nature. I think that most people who go in expecting a typical Stallone movie, or what the trailer makes the film appear to be (an all-out brawl), will be disappointed. So try to go in with an open mind and think about the film more in the realm of last year's THE LIMEY, about a guy just looking out for his family...and pissed! He goes from place to place, questions people, kicks a little ass when he needs to, and moves on to the next clue. I enjoyed the movie on the basis of style, soundtrack, the cool fight scenes and the 70s style car chases. I also really liked the character that Stallone was playing, a bad guy who despite his badness, wins our hearts because of the supposed good that he's looking to do in honor of his brother's untimely death. Okay, so he won my heart...he might not win yours! One definite problem that the film does have, besides a mystery which to be honest, wasn't all that mysterious in my eyes, is the supporting characters, who ultimately don't add up to much. Miranda Richardson is given second billing but I have no idea why. She is barely in the film. The same could be said for any of the other bit characters, Mickey Rourke, Alan Cumming and John C. McGinley. Small roles which don't really give you much insight.
Rachael Leigh Cook does get in the mix with Stallone a bit, and the chemistry between the two was good, but the bottom line with this movie is Stallone, Stallone, Stallone! If you dig the big lug, you will more than likely enjoy this easy-paced dramatic turn for the puppy-eyed bastard! (Bastard meant in a "good" way here, folks. No letters, please!). I was personally very happy to see Sly up on the big screen again with some solid acting on his part, palpable screen presence and plenty of cool one-liners (And yes, despite most of the one-liners being good, some did fall flat). This film is not for everyone, not sure if Jimmy Jack Corn will appreciate the extreme darkness of the lead character, but if you're looking for a tough, intense, gritty character...don't look any further than this dude, Carter. He simply doesn't f**k around. Stay tuned for a particularly effective scene of him and another guy in the woods...nuff said! So overall, despite the film's predictability and underdeveloped side-characters, the movie's got a lot of style, a great soundtrack, an awesome performance from Stallone as the ultimate man on a mission and boy, does he look great in those suits or what? Anyhoo...not a keeper but definitely one to check out for all Stallone fans. Adriaaaaaaaaannnn!!!
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian