Get Carter (2000)
Main cast: Sylvester Stallone (Jack Carter), Miranda Richardson (Gloria Carter), Rachael Leigh Cook (Doreen Carter), Alan Cumming (Jeremy Kinnear), Mickey Rourke (Cyrus Paice), Michael Caine (Cliff Bumby), Rhona Mitra (Geraldine), Gretchen Mol (Audrey), and John C McGinley (Carter's partner)
Director: Stephen Kay


Michael Caine starred in the original 1971 classic noir of the same name, and yup, I haven't seen that one, philistine ol' me. But it is a classic, so there must be something great about that one. This 2000 update is a colossal waste, because Sylvester Stallone playing an antihero is a hilarious notion if it isn't my $8.00 on the counter here. If he has just shut up and start peppering everything that moves with bullets, that'll be fun.

"If you - pause - don't take care of business, - pause - business will take care of you," he mutters.

Hee hee hee. Ha ha ha. Ho ho ho.

The story is about our hitman Carter trying to find out who killed his younger brother. Candidates include a sleazy internet porn mogul, a computer hacker, the dead bro's wife, and a hotelier. Carter gets an unexpected assistant in his niece, said dead bro's daughter. Put in a CD-ROM with damning evidence of a Great Conspiracy, and the ammo salesman gets wet at the thought of so many bullets flying around.

But this movie makes a fatal mistake, two actually. Like Mel Gibson's equally flawed Payback (also a remake of another noir classic, Point Blank), the folks behind the script is greedy enough to try to cater to mainstream audience by "humanizing" Carter. You don't humanize a hitman without losing all his credibility. At least in Payback there is a hint of a bittersweet romance to keep me involved. Here, Stallone tries to act, to emote, to dramatize. It's like watching a hippo trying to fit into a pair of size 18 jeans. I don't know whether to laugh or scream in horror.

The secondary casts - Caine, Richardson, Cummings, Rourke, and even Cook - turn in brilliant performances, trying their best to cover the mistake that is Stallone. But no good. The least Get Carter could do is to let Carter do a Rambo on us, i.e. shut up and shoot. No such luck.

Rating: 68


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