Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Walking Tall: The Payback


Directed by: Tripp Reed
Written by: Brian Strasmann
Starring: Kevin Sorbo, AJ Buckley & Yvette Nipar

Solid, satisfying and super sequel to The Rock starring remake, The Payback is a tough, no-holds-barred, rootin-tootin action flick. TV Hercules Kevin Sorbo ably steps into The Rock’s shoes as Nick Prescott, a special forces vet who must take up arms once again to defend his community from some greedy business men and their violent henchmen who are trying to take over his town. By the numbers it may be with plot and narrative twists signposted a mile off, The Payback is still quality action entertainment due to some fine performances, slick production values and some quality face smashing action.

Sorbo is a solid actor and keeps his justice serving character human, never resorting to a wise cracking indestructible hero type. He has the presence as well, making you believe he can stand up to a load of real nasty types. AJ Buckley is certainly that, his tattooed goon striking like a viper and doing some very nasty things to the innocent townspeople. It’s a pity he still looks like a college skater dude, dampening the effect a little, though Buckley holds it together as the bad guy. There is also able support from Yvette Nipar, Jennifer Sipes and Bentley Mitchum. Shot in Texas, the film has an authentic down home feel complimented by competent filmmaking skills and production values. Perhaps the best aspect is the hard edge nature of The Payback. More beefed up compared to the first instalment and grittier in tone, it doesn’t shy away from showing ugly violence both in the crimes and the revenge taken by the hero.

The action is also thick and fast, a car/truck chase and plenty of explosions giving proceedings a polished feel. But it’s the down and dirty fights that deliver as Prescott sets about breaking bones and cracking skulls. The action is also shotgun heavy and the impacts brutally portrayed, meaning people fly across rooms when shot. It all climaxes in a big, satisfying take down at the bad guys base, where Prescott causes mayhem and kills anyone that gets in his way.

A little gem of a movie that much like the sequel that followed it, Lone Justice (starring most of the cast seen here including Sorbo) proves that straight-to-DVD action flicks can still deliver the goods. Recommended.

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