Payback: Straight Up (2006)

Payback: Straight Up (2006)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Payback: Straight Up Photos

Movie Info

Seven years after seeing his original vision butchered under studio interference as well as his star's, director Brian Helgeland finally was given the chance to piece together his director's cut under the name Payback: Straight Up. Along with reinstating the original third act, this version represents a return to the gritty world of '70s filmmaking that was the groundwork of the production up until Paramount got cold feet and ordered extensive reshoots. The story centers on Porter (Mel Gibson), a thief that is pulled into a heist by his old friend, Val (Brian De Palma regular Gregg Henry), who plans a double cross with Porter's wife, Lynn (Deborah Kara Unger) after showing her a photo of her husband in the arms of another girl (Maria Bello). As they're stealing $130,000 in laundered drug money from Chinese Triads, Lynn shoots Porter in the back and speeds away with Val and money in tow. What they didn't know is that Porter would come back looking for his cut, which has been used to pay off Val's mob debts so he could return to "The Syndicate." Helgeland, the screenwriter for L.A. Confidential and Mystic River, made his directing debut with this adaptation of the novel The Hunter by Donald E. Westlake writing under the pseudonym, Richard Stark. The same novel served as the basis for John Boorman's Point Blank starring Lee Marvin. This version excises Kris Kristofferson's performance entirely and features a new score by Scott Stambler.
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures


Mel Gibson
as Porter
Maria Bello
as Rosie
David Paymer
as Stegman
Bill Duke
as Det. Hicks
Jack Conley
as Det. Leary
James Coburn
as Fairfax
Lucy Liu
as Pearl
Mark Alfa
as Johnny's Friend
Kwame Amoaku
as Radioman
Justin Ashforth
as Michael the Bartender
Len Bajenski
as Fairfax Bodyguard
Kate Buddeke
as Counter Girl
Price Carson
as Bronson Heavy No. 1
Roddy Chiong
as Chow Thug No. 2
Art Cohan
as Bronson's Heavy No. 2
Andrew "Buzz" Cooper
as Whipping Boy
James Deuter
as Tailor
Doc Duhame
as Fatboy
David Dunard
as Doctor
Nathan Effron
as Johnny's Friend
Tom Equin
as Razor Clean No. 1
Brian Heinberg
as Bartender No. 2
Alex Hentelhoff
as Varrick's Manager
Jeff Imada
as Chow's Bodyguard
Michael Ingram
as Chow's Thug No. 1
Robert Kim
as Chow's Courier
Robert Kurcz
as Oakwood Arms Manager
Turk Muller
as Black Suit
Chet Nichols
as Oakwood Arms Tough No. 1
George O'Mara
as Driver
Yasen Peyankov
as Panhandler
Ed Pfeifer
as Ed Johnson
Freddy Rodriguez
as Punk Messenger
Michael Skewes
as Fairfax Bodyguard No. 2
Alex Skuby
as Oakwood Arms Tough No. 2
Lee Stepp
as Bar Patron
Daniel Patrick Sullivan
as Razor Clean No. 2
Tedd Taskey
as Waiter
Manu Tupo
as Pawnbroker
Marc Vann
as Gray
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Payback: Straight Up

There are no critic reviews yet for Payback: Straight Up. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for Payback: Straight Up

I really enjoyed this film under its original iteration of Payback (1999), so this director's cut version was interesting to me to see exactly what was changed and how much new material was added or what was excised. I really liked this quite a bit and would now like to re-watch the original version, which I guess I also need to own, just for posterity. Recommended, but hey, you know I love a nice revenge tale.

Bill Bryant
Bill Bryant

It's pretty crazy how the same footage re-purposed changes the tone of a film so completely. Like "Daredevil's" Director's Cut, there's parts of both versions I really like. Although this version still isn't the definitive one. As far as Director Cuts go, this is still much better than Dick Donner's 'Superman II'.

Robert Iwataki
Robert Iwataki

Don't get me wrong, I like this director's cut of Payback a lot. However, I think what Mel Gibson did with the theatrical version is so much better. This is much more of a traditional Noir plot with a moralistic outcome. That's not necessarily bad, it just doesn't work as well in a modern setting. It's not enough that we're seeing the same kind of movie from the 40s, nostalgia only goes so far. What still works here is the amazing visual style; I think it actually is betting in this version. The soundtrack is also a lot more fitting for the tone they were trying to achieve. The plot, characters and overall atmosphere is undoubtedly cool and I feel like if someone hadn't seen the other cut, they'd be extremely impressed. This movie as it is doesn't have a third act, it's that simple. That's kind've interesting and common when you consider the genre it's fitting into, but it just feels like something is missing. I stand by Mel Gibson's decision 100% to add more to the story and make it more than just a cool little neo-noir.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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