Get Carter (2000) / Thriller-Action
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for violence, language, some sexuality and drug content
Running Time: 102 min.
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Miranda Richardson, Rachel Leigh Cook, Michael Caine, Rhona Mitra, John C. McGinley, Alan Cumming, Mickey Rourke
Small role: Gretchen Mol, Tom Sizemore, Frank Stallone
Director: Stephen Kay
Screenplay: David McKenna (based on the novel, "Jack's Return Home", by Ted Lewis)
Review published October 5, 2000
Those looking for the movie that will finally have everyone crying "comeback" for Sylvester Stallone (Antz, Judge Dredd) won't find it here. In his first starring role since Cop Land three years before, Sly gets back into the kick-ass action vehicle we are used to seeing him in, but to his resurgence plan's demise, the material lets him down once again. Luckily, it isn't as bad as it could have been, since the directing does lend a bit of hip late 60s-ish flash to the proceedings, and some good chase scenes and fistfights liven things up at the right times.
Remaking the 1971 film coincidentally starring Michael Caine (Miss Congeniality, Cider House Rules), who has a supporting role here, this stars Stallone as Jack Carter, a Las Vegas mob enforcer who travels to Seattle to attend his brother's funeral. Not everything is kosher about bro's death, and Jack begins to sniff around to try to find out if something more sinister was involved. Now Carter wants to get those who may be responsible, if he doesn't get got first.
The acting is competent, and Stephen Kay's (Wasted, The Boogeyman) direction is superficial but a breath of fresh air from the usually flat style of much of Stallone's work of the last decade. There are a number of things to like amid the rather predictable storyline, the best of which is an exciting car chase on the streets of Seattle which recall the best of those from the early 70s chic, from which Get Carter draws most of it's inspiration.
However, not much can be done about the film's major weakness: the all-too-familiar plot and rather shallow characterizations. Although attempts were obviously made to try to draw some dimension to the paper-thin characters, it seems a bit forced when they happen and only serve to provide the film with even more lulls than there should have been.
With not much happening of interest in the story, and a director that seems to want to practice his technique more than further the film's plot, what we're left with is an exercise in missed opportunities and squandered performances. Get Carter might have been made into an interesting movie, if only it had a cast and crew interested in making one.
©2000 Vince Leo