Monday, May 12, 2014

Get Carter (1971) Review:

Today Michael Caine is considered to be not only one of Hollywood's most beloved actors, but also a symbol for all of the United Kingdom. Over the years Michael Caine has moved from a relatively unknown British actor to a household name. It's hard to say what it truly is about him that people like so much. Is it his accent? Is it the characters' he plays? Or is it his presence alone that defines him? Well whatever it is, it's difficult not to enjoy whatever movie Michael Caine stars in. Even for this movie, it's challenging to have the bad counter the good here.

Cool, calm, collected and still dangerous
In this crime thriller, Michael Caine plays a real life British gangster named Jack Carter. Upon coming home one day he learns that his brother has died. Believing that it wasn't an accident, Carter sets out to seek the truth and personal justice. What Jack doesn't realize, is that how much he doesn't know about what he's looking for. This is the kind of plot where the main character digs for the truth without realizing how much they'll actually get. It's a gamble most characters aren't ready for - yet the character of Jack Carter is. Jack Carter will get what he wants, even if it means he has to kill. What also distinguishes Jack Carter from many other anti-heroes is the fact that he's not a clean person either. He has just as much problems as any other gangster does. Yet the audience will feel more sympathetic for him because of the story telling thanks to writer/director Mike Hodges.

There are other well-known British actors in this movie as well, but it depends on how familiar the viewer is with other foreign cast members. For example, Britt Ekland who plays Anna, would also play in The Wicker Man (1973) and The Man With the Golden Gun (1974). Ian Hendry also has an interesting role to play here too, watch him carefully. One of the more tasteful aspects of this movie are the scenes where Carter is figuring out who are his enemies and who are his allies. Once it is determined to the audience, the act of revenge feels so much more gratifying. The kill scenes however aren't too unique. There are perhaps a few scenes that people may not expect but other than that, it's nothing out of the ordinary.

Mr. Ian Hendry
However, there are also a couple of scenes where it feels like the plot doesn't go anywhere. This rarely happens but in most movies this well constructed, it shouldn't happen at all. Cinematography wise, the background looks great. Wolfgang Suschitzky did a nice job capturing a lot of England without having to use matinee paintings or other special effects. The last thing to be mentioned was the music provided by Roy Budd. Budd's music is almost entirely absent throughout the running time yet he proves to the audience that he knows what he's doing. It's disappointing too because the opening theme for Carter is so catchy and memorable. Why wouldn't you want to continue that? Overall, a good revenge flick.

Without Michael Caine starring, who knows if this film would have the following that it has today. The story is well developed and has an intriguing message about what finding the truth to something leads to.

Points Earned --> 7:10

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