Sylvester Stallone stars as vicious hit man Jack Carter out to revenge his brother’s death in this overly dark and murky remake of a 1971 film of the same name.
It is peppered with lots of fancy camera and editing tricks that serve no real purpose but seem to be used in an attempt to kick the action along. Upside-down shots, fast motion forward shots, flashes on screen, all of this tend to be more annoying than anything else and add to that the constant Seattle rain along with super dark film exposure and it’s downright depressing. Stallone’s face looks ruddy as if he has a sunburn in one scene and more normal in another.
It opens with Carter abandoning his job for a loan shark in Las Vegas and returning home to Seattle after a five-year absence for his brother’s funeral. Immediately, he begins investigating the events surrounding Richie’s death, suspecting foul play.
Miranda Richardson plays Richie’s widow Gloria and Rachael Leigh Cook plays her confused and alienated daughter Doreen. Carter’s presence there is more puzzling than anything for the family members who have basically written him off, but he’s not going anywhere until he learns the truth about Richie’s death. First on the list to be questioned is Cliff Brumby (Michael Caine in a two-bit part), the owner of a club his brother manager. Then there’s Jeremy Kinnear (well played by Alan Cumming), a weasly computer millionaire who can’t help but ask everyone if they know who he is. And lastly, there’s old “pal” Cyrus Paice (Mickey Rourke), who owns a club and is now running an internet porno site. It’s Carter’s job to find the connection. And if that isn’t enough, Carter has his partner from Vegas also gunning for him, precisely why, we don’t know.
Interspersed with his investigation are some nice scenes with Doreen who is trying to make sense of who her uncle is and the kind of life he leads. These are the best scenes in the film for both of them. Otherwise, it’s all Stallone beating heads.
The worst is his fight with Rourke’s Cyrus character in the millionaire’s house. Cyrus beats Carter to a pulp, leaves him on the floor, then goes over to dance the night away in another part of the house. Carter finds him and it’s over in about five seconds. What a drag. The director should have had them bashing each other’s brains in all over that expensive house until the hero prevailed.
Lotta says: “Get Carter” is more of the same for Stallone, even if he does okay with it. Caine’s a waste. The only one who comes out well in this murky mess is Rachael Leigh Cook; it’s a nice part for her.