Tag Archives: Maria Bello

The Set of 400: #399 – My Favorite Gruesome Earring Removal

Today! Because I got hammered –

Payback (1999)

Directed by Brian Helgeland

Starring Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria Bello, William Devane, Lucy Liu, Kris Kristofferson, David Paymer, Bill Duke, John Glover

Hyper-violent revenge fantasy of the late ’90s that it is, Payback is basically a bunch of pretty unlikable characters beating the shit out of each other. What’s not to enjoy in that? Director Helgeland was coming off writing his Oscar-winning screenplay for L.A. Confidential with this fun, bloody knockaround, starring reputed real-life villain Gibson as Porter, a lowlife double-crossed for $70,000 and out for vengeance. Considering the torture and beatings throughout the movie, it somehow manages a pretty light tone, with a lot of comedic bits, especially from the never-better Gregg Henry, film MVP as Porter’s opposite number Val Resnick, and a vintage ass-kicking Lucy Liu, just prior to her Charlie’s Angels/Kill Bill prime. Continue reading

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