Get Carter


Directed by: Stephen T. Kay
Written by:Ted Lewis
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Miranda Richardson, Rachel Leigh Cook, Michael Caine, Alan Cumming, Mickey Rourke
Released: February 1, 2001
Grade: C+

Apparently, if you have a problem you get Jack Carter (Stallone).  He's the guy that helps people remember promises they've somehow forgotten.  He's tough, mean, violent, unrelenting and isn't someone you want on your back.  His latest assignment though will take him beyond his call of duty - this time, it's personal (I am well aware of the cliché).

Jack's brother was killed in a drink driving incident and so he has travelled from Las Vegas to Seattle for the funeral.  He hadn't seen his brother or his wife Gloria (Richardson) and daughter Doreen (Cook) is almost five years.  Jack is suspicious of his brother's death and some light investigation confirms those thoughts.  Everyone just wants Jack to go back home but he's determined to get to the bottom of things and of course, you know he's going to.

The suspects are established early.  There's multi-millionaire Jeremy Kinnear (Cumming) whose computer wheelings and dealings have drawn attention.  There's nightclub owner Cyrus Paice (Rourke) who has established himself as a porn entrepreneur.  There's his brother’s boss Cliff Brumby (Caine) who knows something but isn't showing his cards just yet.  Finally, there's the mysterious Geraldine (Rhona Mitra) who attends the funeral and when confronted becomes defensive.

The film has promise and one cannot criticise the cast.  Rourke, Caine and Richardson and all great and Sylvester Stallone delivers a performance similar to the quiet style we witnessed in Copland.  In fact, much of the film reminded me of Copland with a dash of Mel Gibson's Payback thrown in.

The screenplay frustrates and from the expressions of those in the cinema I attended, others share this viewpoint.  The film begins encouragingly but mid-way through it starts slipping and the final stretch is a bore.  When all the secrets are finally revealed, it felt like a bad episode of Walker: Texas Ranger.

Overdrawn and repetitive is an apt description of director Stephen T. Kay’s direction and Jerry Greenberg’s editing.   In Get Carter, Stallone makes a valiant effort to break away from the action genre but this film will not be remembered.  Be forewarned that the film contains a high level of violence and some would be advised to stay at home.  In fact, I'd advise most to stay at home anyway.