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Get Carter (1971)

August 23, 2009

5/10 Kickass Older Brothers

Apparently Michael Caine was one mean sonofabitch back in the day. Who knew? He always seemed pretty nice to me.

Get Carter is about a cold-blooded bastard of a guy that takes a break from contract killings and takes a trip back home to find out who covered up his brother’s murder…then kill them. There’s a whole lot of covering up to..uncover, a lot of women to sleep with and slap around, a whole lot of scotch to drink, and, of course, a lot of bad dudes that are pretty much asking for it.

I don’t care if you can’t stand the guy. If his brother kills people for a living, you let it slide. It’s an unspoken rule.

I was hoping to like Get Carter a lot more than I did. After all, Michael Caine is a great actor and I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a movie where he plays a shotgun-toting anti-hero picking people off in the underbelly of England. But even though he’s pretty serious and the premise is promising, things don’t always end up like you’d hope they would.

Such is life.

It’s a really gritty movie that revolves around a town that’s seemingly filled to the brim with the scum of the Earth, but after a while it’s all just a little much. There’s nothing very redeeming about the grim story, or the characters who are all pretty much going right to hell one way or another, or Carter, especially. Yeah, he’s a badass, but he’s also a fuckin’ jerk that I really didn’t care all that much about. He comes off like a total asshole version of James Bond, only not as charming and completely lacking in the nifty gadget department.

I don’t know, aside from Caine, I was also surprisingly bored by this movie. I like to think I have a lot of patience for movies, but the plot here is surprisingly slow and difficult to follow to the point where I found myself losing interest instead of wanting to know more. And like I said, I really could care less about finding who killed Carter’s brother, nor did I care about who got killed. Everyone in Carter’s home town sucks, but no one really stands out from one another either. Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time sympathizing with ruthless assholes.

So I guess it’s worth a watch if you’re looking for something real dark and tough as nails, but a good, atypical performance by Michael Caine isn’t enough to save Get Carter from being one hell of a depressing movie that I doubt I’ll ever go back to.

Hey, I’m sure it’s a hell of a lot better than that horseshit remake with Sly Stallone, but that’s already kind of a given.

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