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Payback

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

No more Mr Nice Guy.

A one man army of revenge and retribution, Porter (Mel Gibson) explodes through a seedy world where all men are killers, all women are hookers and all cops are crooked.

A tough anti-hero, Porter stages a dramatic heist with Val Resnick (Gregg Henry) who then double crosses him, splitting the money with Porter's wife, after trying to take his life. When Porter resurfaces he comes up hardened, destitute and unyielding. He wants his money back and doesn't care how he has to get it. Even Val's new bosses, leaders of a crime syndicate headed by Bronson (Kris Kristofferson), soon discover that when you kill Porter, you'd better make sure he's dead.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Payback theatrical one sheet image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film crime action revenge money criminal double cross heist crime syndicate

Persons of interest

  • Mel Gibson .... Porter
  • Gregg Henry .... Val Resnick
  • Kris Kristofferson .... Bronson
  • Maria Bello .... Rosie
  • David Paymer .... Stegman
  • Bill Duke .... Detective Hicks
  • William Devane .... Carter
  • Deborah Kara Unger .... Lynn
  • Lucy Alexis Liu .... Pearl
  • Donald E "Richard Stark" Westlake .... Author: The Hunter
  • Terry Hayes .... Screenwriter
  • Brian Helgeland .... Screenwriter
  • Brian Helgeland .... Director

Intelligence analyst

Secret Agent Acid Thunder

Theatrical report

I'll stop hooking if he stops shooting people...

What a stereotypical, dumb Yank, Lethal weapon ending. And that's all this movie was. Sure, Mel is the baddie (what other kind of protagonist steals $70,000 then tries to get it back from the people who stole it from him?) who teams up with his buddy and wife (Secret love affair? Or was it just sex?) to hit the triads, only to get shot by his buddy and be left for dead. Lethal weapon, baby!

This is the second time you've seen Mel as the anti-hero; the first was in Mad Max where everyone was a baddie but Max still got to find redemption. Payback is Mad Max meets Lethal weapon: baddie kills badder baddies and gets big reward.

There's lots of violence and people killing each other, while one man with (half a) plan weaves in and out of everyone's little schemes in search of the brass ring, which everyone knows he'll get otherwise this wouldn't be made in the USA.

Watch with your brain switched off.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (High level violence, medium level coarse language)

Surveillance time

98 minutes (1:38 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 6 March 2000

Cinema surveillance images

Payback image

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