Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Get Carter" (2000)

"Get Carter" (2000)
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Rachel Leigh Cook and Mickey Rourke
Written by David McKenna
Directed by Stephen T. Kay

I'll admit it, I have a weakness for Sylvester Stallone.  I'm not sure I can say that I like a lot of the movies he's in, but I like the man himself.  Sure, he's got that funky speech impediment, and he's not an actor with a ton of range, but in interviews he always comes off as friendly, intelligent and personable, and that always seems to get through to me so that, no matter how bad it may look, I'll always give one of his movies a shot.

"Get Carter" is not a good movie.  It's not particularly long, but it feels it.  It's the story of Jack Carter, a mob enforcer who attends his brother's funeral and then attempts to track down who killed him and why.  Eventually, there's a some reveal about an incriminating computer disc, some porno stuff, a couple of car chases... But to get there, what happens?  A whole lot of nothing.  There aren't a lot of characters in this movie.  Each scene basically consists of Carter working his way through the same four people or so, interrogating them in turn over and over again. 

Stallone himself doesn't seem particularly interested in what's going on.  The only times his character comes alive at all is when he's interacting with Rachel Leigh Cook as his niece, Doreen.  The two of them have fine chemistry together, for what little screen time they share.  Mickey Rourke is appropriately imposing as a pimp/porno producer/sketchy dude.  The rest of the cast is just... there. 

Even Michael Caine, who played Carter in the original 1970s version, delivers an uninterested performance, even when it's revealed what his role in the story and motivations are.  The scene falls flat because Caine just seems to be there, without any kind of life or menace.

Put "Get Carter" down there as another soulless remake.  There's obviously potential for a gritty, noir-ish revenge story, but none of it is capitalized here.  Even the action scenes aren't particularly engrossing, which is unfortunate, because Stallone is usually a very likable presence on screen.