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Get Carter

  rocky it is not
He's All That: Sylvester Stallone and Rachel Leigh Cook get vacant.

2000, Warner Bros.
All Rights Reserved

How sad it is that Sylvester Stallone feels the need to live up to his very own stereotype in each new film he makes. Instead of relying on decades worth of experience, an Academy Award, and worldwide adulation, Stallone always seems to lean toward tired, played-out action films. With "Get Carter" (IMDb listing), Stallone and the filmmakers had the perfect raw materials: a remake of the classic 1971 British thriller "Get Carter." In true Stallone fashion, the material has been stripped bare of thrills and pumped up with more endless action to keep the attention of the wandering-eye audience. The end result is (barely) well acted, but a dismal attempt to give Stallone a good old fashioned "Payback"-style success.

"Get Carter" stars Stallone as Jack Carter, a mob enforcer living in Las Vegas who returns to his Seattle hometown to privately investigate why his brother died under mysterious circumstances. Using his less-than-subtle ways of making suspects talk, Carter finds himself on every thug's "to do" list, including an Internet porn pimp (Mickey Rourke) who might hold the clue to the true fate of Carter's estranged brother.

On the plus side, Stallone does surround himself with stellar talent. Though through poor character development or last minute editing, the characters on display seem less than complete. Miranda Richardson, Mickey Rourke, Alan Cumming, Rachael Leigh Cook co-star, and in a nod to his starring role in the original "Get Carter," Michael Caine shows up in an insulting, square peg-round hole cameo. "Carter" is strongest when the actors are allowed some quiet time to complete their jobs—this is especially evident in scenes with Stallone and Leigh Cook. They share an unexpected tenderness together that the white noise of the rest of the film cannot penetrate.

Lamentably, director Stephen Kay and the muscle behind and in front of the camera (Stallone) feel the need to slowly drain "Carter" of any life through childish stylistic choices, obscenely poor car chase choreography, and a labyrinthine plot that I will personally offer a C-note to anybody that can fully explain it to me. A revenge story line is fine. A revenge story line with cyberporn, drunk driving, rapes, mobsters, a mobster's mistress, shady colleagues, shady families, and unresolved climaxes is far too much for this thick movie. Even with some fine performances, and a touching scene or two, "Get Carter" isn't much to chase.

Filmfodder Grade: C-

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