johnlink ranks GET CARTER (2000)

I can’t knock Stallone too hard. He’s had some duds, but no more than any other regularly working action star. I really liked his more dramatic turn in COP LAND, and heard GET CARTER mixed some of his more straight action with a character who had a little more depth. This is a movie which had always been on my periphery, but which I had never seen.

I watched GET CARTER (2000) on 3.27.12. It was my first viewing of the film.

As this film started, Stallone is beating up a guy while SRUBS’ John C. McGinley cracks wise in the background. I immediately rolled my eyes, thinking this was nothing more than a post-Tarantino film which would try to be too clever for its own good. Turns out, only McGinley’s character (and to a lesser extent Alan Cummings’ pseudo-villain) goes this route. Most of this is played fairly straight, even if the dialogue is not as witty as it thinks it is.

I like Stallone in this character, though any talk of this being one of his ‘dramatic’ action turns is overblown. yeah he has a scene or two with heart, but it’s not the best stuff the movie has to offer. Just because he tries to act a little more seriously doesn’t mean its a good dramatic turn.

The biggest problem this film has is that everyone is a villain. Anyone who might be bad turns out to be. We have no less than six bad guys here. Plus a seventh off screen guy who is teased to be the Big Bad in a sequel which was never made.

While the women in this are fairly strong, or at least try to be, this movie is stuck in a late 90s/early 21st century homophobia which is slightly off putting to a modern viewer. Alan Cumming is treated as a lesser man for his homosexuality, and is left to grovel for his life at the end of the film. All the other villains fight back in some way, but Cumming is clearly intended to be separate from those guys. Not a deal breaker for this film, but certainly a noticeable issue for me as I watched it.

The shooting of this movie is unique, even if some of the camera tricks add nothing. I give it credit for creating some canted framing or 180-degree-line-jumping confusion to the straight-forward story. However, the effect often felt like trickery for the sake of trickery. It didn’t add layers to the film for me. Of course that is an entirely subjective thing. I bet there are those out there who love this thing.

I suppose if Stallone made another film as Jack Carter, I would watch it. I like the character, even if this story is not particularly strong. A sequel would be better off for not having some of the people in this (I hate to say that about Mickey Rourke, Michael Caine, or Rachel Leigh Cook, but they don’t add much to this movie). GET CARTER is by no means bad, but it has certainly extended to this streak of underwhelming movies I’ve experienced for the first time this March.





~ by johnlink00 on March 28, 2012.

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