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"Get Carter"

Directed by Stephen T. Kay.
Written by David McKenna.  Based on the 1971 film of the same name, which is based on a novel by Ted Lewis. 
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Rachel Leigh Cook and Mickey Rourke.
Release Year:  2000 
Review Date:  10/6/00 

(WARNING:  Profanity will be used throughout this review.)


This fucking piece of shit is the worst fucking movie that Sly has ever made.

Don't worry.  There's more than that!

Gordon, Amanda Dewitt and I came out of the theater following our showing of "Get Carter", and we were trying to think if we had ever seen a worse Sly Stallone movie.  There were a few that came to mind, and I would love to get your opinion on which one of the following is the worst: 

  • "Judge Dredd"

  • "Stop!  Or My Mom Will Shoot!"

  • "The Specialist"

  • "Assassins"

Now, my vote BEFORE going to see "Get Carter" was "Judge Dredd."  But, after tonight, Sly has a new worst film.  "Get Carter" is absolutely awful, shameful considering its impressive cast of actors--Michael Caine, Mickey Rourke, Miranda Richardson and even John C. McGinley have all done good work before.  And, this movie is a remake of the Michael Caine movie "Get Carter" from years ago!

So, where does it go wrong?  Everywhere.  Its biggest problem (beyond the fact this it is a piece of shit) is that, although it is marketed as an action/drama, there is almost no action...and, almost no drama!  The setup is this:  Jack Carter (Stallone), professional tough guy who seems to be half repo-man, half hitman, works in Vegas but finds out that his brother has been found dead as a result of a drunk driving accident back in their hometown of Seattle.  So, Jack heads up to Seattle to figure out what happened and who is really responsible for his brother's death (you guessed it, it isn't just drinking and driving!).  Who could it be?  A shady $900-million internet honcho (Alan Cummings)?  A nightclub owner (Caine)?  Maybe it is Jack's old nemesis who now owns a "legitimate business" (Rourke, owner of a porn website)?

But, before we can get to figuring out who actually is responsible, we have to sit through some of the worst sappy-shit acting in the history of time and space.  Rachel Leigh Cook ("She's All That", much more her cup of tea) plays Doreen, the dead brother's daughter, and she is all distraught over her father's death but she's got a secret that's much worse than drinking and driving.  But, we spend way too much time with the Jack & Doreen relationship and about 45 minutes into the movie, things got so boring and so quiet in my theater that the four Spanish-speaking folks sitting behind us got up and left; I don't know Spanish, but the word "punta" was used so many times that I got a headache from hearing it.

It is amazing that 50-something-year-old Sly is still playing this super-tough guy role; he is believable to be sure, but why not play against type like he did in the underappreciated "Copland" from a couple of years ago?  He doesn't have many good lines here and many of them come from the Schwarzenegger One-Liner School, which is to say, the lines get more laughter from an audience than "ooh, you go, tough guy!"  Hmm.  Caine is wasted here in this role and Richardson's part must have been purely to pay the rent last month.  She is useless and stereotyped in this part and someone of her stature could do better.  Cummings is so whiny that every time he said a line this one guy in the back just started busting out in laughter because it sounded so pitiful...and annoying.

The biggest problem with this?  The horrible MTV-style editing that is hampering almost all films these days; "Get Carter" is so overedited that by the time the final club sequence comes about, you can't watch the screen because of the hyper-cutting that is taking place in front of you.  This overediting is necessary in scenes where Sly is whooping somebody's ass, because you can't believe he can move so quickly otherwise.  But, the whole movie is shot like that when it is not shamelessly using slow motion.  This trend is not just "Get Carter" and I am hoping that it ends in the reasonably near future.

Avoid this film at all costs...EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!

Rating:  Hard Vice


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09