a critiQal film review Get Carter (2000)

Plot: Jack Carter (Stallone) is a man you don’t want to know. If you know him, it usually means you haven’t paid the mob. When his brother is killed, Jack pays a visit. Now, he’s got the mob after him for skipping town (and sleeping with the boss’ wife), and a whole conspiracy of people around him, including old pal Cyrus (Rourke) and computer geek Kinnear (Cumming). Everybody’s out to Get Carter...but everybody should look out, because Carter is out for revenge.

Reviewed
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  • ...unless you're a die-hard Stallone fan, the original may be more worth your time.

I’ve always liked Stallone in action films. His dramatic acting usually leaves a bit to be desired, but his action films have always been a hit to me (First Blood (1982), Rocky (1976), Cliffhanger (1993), etc.). Having just seen Cop Land, I was interested in seeing if Get Carter could be anywhere close to as good. Nope, not even close.

Stallone plays a thug. He fits the part well, since he has always looked like a thug anyway. He’s always looked the part of a bad guy trying to be good, so he seemed a natural for this role. True, his acting isn’t on par here with bigger successes like Cliffhanger (1993) and especially Cop Land, where he showed real acting talent, not just beating people up.

In Get Carter he seems to have regressed to his earlier Rambo/Rocky days, and it’s almost a disappointment. I kept thinking the title for this film should have been Rocky X: The Revenge. He seems to still be suffering from the brain damage of Rocky V (1990), and he seems to have totally slipped back into that character.

Rachel Leigh Cook and Michael Caine are incredibly under-used in this film, and it’s a shame. They both seem to have great ability, and it’s too bad they don’t get to flex their acting muscles very much here.

Mickey Rourke, who surprised me in White Sands, reverts back to his Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man method of acting here. Walk around, look stylish, and that’s pretty much it. Throw in a few snide comments, hit people occasionally, and you’ve got yourself his character, Cyrus.

The plot seemed to start out well. Bad guy finds out his brother died, feels out of touch with family, goes back to see what he can do to help. Then, it kind of falls apart a bit.

The plot tries to throw you off by tossing a ton of red herrings at you, and they are so thin you can almost see right through them. You know who did it, basically from the start, and it ruins the suspense. The plot then just stops, and suddenly it’s just Jack getting to know his brother’s daughter. Then, suddenly, you’re back in the thick of the action.

It doesn’t seem to flow very well, and leaves the viewer a bit confused as to what they are supposed to be thinking about. Then, it all ties up a little too nicely, and the movie’s over. And the viewer, by that point, doesn’t really much care anymore.

One thing the movie does have going for it is it’s unique soundtrack. With a kind of a twangy, bit more depressed Get Shorty (1995) feel to it, it’s a nice change from the typical action movie soundtrack.

The special effects mostly evolve around the action scenes, and the overuse of strange camera shots. The action scenes are decently done, but nothing much to rave about. It’s fun seeing the car chases, where the cars are spinning so much you think they are about to go into a 360-degree skid, but doesn’t really add to the action. It’s just fun to watch. Kind of like watching a demolition derby. You don’t really care who wins, it’s just fun.

The odd camera angles, including flashing, slo-mo, and rotating cameras, are interesting the first time, but get old after a while. They don’t really show anything important (like slowing down the action in a John Woo film does), they just seem to be thrown in randomly to give the film more appeal. It backfires. They get annoying.

All in all, Get Carter makes me want to watch the original. If this turned out like this, what must the original have been like?

Michael Caine was Jack Carter in the original, so it would be nice to compare and contrast Stallone’s performance here with Caine’s in the original. Maybe the odd camera effects were a homage to the original too …I don’t know.

With regressed thug performances by Stallone and Rourke (and the under-use of shining stars like Caine and Cook), a start-good-finish-lame plot, odd over-used camera effects and plain, everyday, action scenes, Get Carter isn’t worth getting.

I would check out the original if I were you, unless you’re a die-hard Stallone fan, or if you’re just into a revenge movie and you’re favorite Steven Seagal film is out of stock at the video store.

2 Comments

  1. i find the big brown eyes of rachel leigh cook very very attractive, oh i just love those eyes ;..

  2. the best asset of Rachel Leigh Cook is her big brown eyes which are very very expressive and attractive .


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