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(Review originally written at 10 August 2007)

This is a pretty awesome, simplistic '70's revenge flick, that because of its simplicity is so pleasant and cool to watch.

Guess that the movie can be described as a more serious version of the movie "Payback", in which Robert Duvall takes revenge after his brother got killed by hit-man. He decides to steal money from the mafia as a compensation and take out the persons who also put a contract on his head and that of his former partner in crime, played by Joe Don Baker. That its not as fun of course doesn't mean that the movie is worse as well. It's just different and because of that also still quite original, though no real surprises ever occur in the movie. It's mostly a formulaic genre movie but who's really complaining, since it was such a great genre and especially also those movies made in the '70's.

The movie definitely profits from the fact that it was made in the '70's; the ultimate time period for these sort of straight-forward crime movies and action-flicks. But even though its a pretty straight-forward and raw movie, it doesn't really feel as a tough one. Guess they could have made the main character do some more 'cool' and violent things, to give the movie that typical tough '70's feeling. The movie now feels more like a 'light-version', even though by every other time period standards, the movie would still be considered as a tough and bold violent movie.

The movie obviously didn't had one of the highest budgets but the movie doesn't really suffer from this. The movie is so pleasant to watch because of its simplicity and limited resources. No big explosions or chase sequences here, just some good old fashioned payback time with guns and fists. The rest of the movie looks like its supposed to. A gritty typical atmosphere, '70's camera-work from Bruce Surtees and a good balanced and flowing story.

As you would expect from a role such as this one, Robert Duvall is great. Joe Don Baker also plays a good role. I don't believe I ever saw him in a '70's flick before. It's was pretty refreshing to see him in a 'young' role. You perhaps would expect that Robert Duvall totally plays him off the screen but the two of them are a pretty good match for each other. The female character of the movie, played by Karen Black, is pretty redundant one but at least they tried something different for the genre, that just didn't worked out as it was quite supposed to.

An enjoyable typical genre-piece, with great actors in it as well.

7/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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