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Get Carter
cast: Sylvester Stallone, Miranda Richardson, Rachel Leigh Cook, Mickey Rourke, and Michael Caine

director: Stephen Kay

98 minutes (15) 2000
Warner VHS rental
Also available to rent or buy on DVD

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by Emma French
This film's tagline is 'the truth hurts', and the box office take must have been equally painful. Sylvester Stallone's misguided vanity project, a remake of the 1971 British classic, opens with a surprisingly shocking scene of violence which highlights the difficulty his re-working of Jack Carter's character has in holding audience sympathy or interest. Stallone's acting, which seems to have steadily deteriorated over the years, is not up to the job. Transplanted from Newcastle to Seattle, Get Carter also boasts risible dialogue and dreadful editing. Stephen Kay's irritating direction involves plenty of confusing jump cutting, split screens and superfluous, exposition-larded flashbacks.
   All the British actors in the film give the impression of taking the money and running as fast as they can. Miranda Richardson acts by numbers as Gloria Carter, bringing no depth to her cipher of a character at all. Alan Cummings is miscast as the bratty American dot-com millionaire Jeremy Kinnear, a trope that already seems as dated as any early 1970s features. For those who have not seen the original Michael Caine's self-parodying role as Cliff Brumby is baffling, and Stallone's appropriation of his most famous lines simply humiliating. Rhona Mitra is a very sexy screen presence as the mysterious Geraldine, but after a few early scenes of lucidity she has an unintentionally comical downward spiral into drug-addled behaviour that includes every speech-slurring, dead-eyed cliché in the book. The film is indeed peppered with clichés, from rave party scenes that try and fail to exude a nameless menace to Caine's grating Cockney accent.
   Mickey Rourke is sleazily effective as menacing porn impresario Cyrus Paice, but once again demonstrates his utter lack of any thespian ambition or range. One note teen actress Rachel Leigh Cook enjoys a disconcertingly flirtatious relationship with her estranged Uncle Jack. An embarrassing rooftop scene in which she confides in him about her rape, dewy eyed and vulnerable whilst Stallone hilariously attempts to emote, is perhaps the film's nadir, though some of the most unexciting car chases ever to appear on the big screen come a close second. After the cringe-making start, a few faintly engaging scenes ensue before a feeble ending, conclusively disproving Stallone's thesis that the story merited a remake. One of the executive producers is Steve Bing. He will have to produce significantly better films than this one if he wants to keep Damien Hurley in designer nappies.