Clark Collis
April 06, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Payback

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
Wide Release Date
02/05/99
performer
Maria Bello, Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Kris Kristofferson, David Paymer, Deborah Kara Unger, James Coburn, Lucy Liu
director
Brian Helgeland
author
Terry Hayes, Brian Helgeland
genre
ActionAdventure, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B-

The initial version of the Mel-starring thriller was an above-average exercise in retro noir. So this new cut of Payback from Brian Helgeland, who was replaced during postproduction, plays largely as an itch-scratching exercise, despite the restoration of his original, more ambiguous ending. EXTRAS
A doc finds Helgeland ruminating on his removal with irritating equanimity. But it does contain a vital piece of directorial advice, which is repeated on the amiably informative commentary: If you want to keep your job, never ever ever have one of your characters kill a dog.

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