Since the inception of the Stallonian Calendar we’ve kind of been avoiding sweeping up the last of the Stallone films available to us. That’s because we need some in the arsenal for the rare Stallone Days ahead. However, it’s really quite rare for a film in the action genre to be adapted from a source. So it was a bit hard to avoid choosing the very best of the bunch (that happens to also star Stallone). Coincidentally it was also his 70th birthday last week, so we can chalk up our viewing of the Get Carter remake to a celebration of sorts. The film is based on the Ted Lewis crime noir Jack’s Return Home. The book was first adapted into 1971’s Get Carter starring Michael Caine, which has grown into a classic. The remake? Not as much. Pretty excited to read the book, watch the original film, watch the new film, maybe watch the other adaptation (1972’s Hit Man), and listen to the director’s commentary. Welcome to Crazytown (Population: 2). Let’s go!
Get Carter (2000) – BMeTric: 52.3
(Nothing very interesting here actually, pretty standard regression to the mean in the rating, twenty-five thousand votes seems normal, and the BMeTric plot is standard stuff. Disturbingly boring.)
Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – Las Vegas enforcer goes home to Seattle to investigate his brother’s death and meets one sleazy character after another who may have been involved. Routine crime drama, enlivened by high-powered car chases but burdened by show-offy visual gimmicks. Remake of the far superior 1971 film that starred Caine, whose role here is thankless. Gretchen Mol appears unbilled.
(Look at those settings. Magnifique. How in the hell does a Get Carter remake have show-offy visuals. We can only hope that there is a talking dog or an animated sidekick, because I can’t for the life of me think why this film would need to show off any visuals. Just be a badass action film.)
(I guess now I understand what show-offy visuals are… weird coloring and the occasional dutch angle. This also might have been the peak of Sly Stallone mumblemouth. Just listen to that delivery on the line, “I’m Jack, Richie’s brother.” A simple line made incomprehensible.)
Directors – Stephen Kay – (BMT: Boogeyman; Get Carter; Notes: Directs mostly television now. Married to Piper Perabo (Cheaper by the Dozen 1 & 2). Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2000 for Worst Screenplay for The Mod Squad)
Writers – Ted Lewis (novel) – (Known For: Get Carter; The Snake; BMT: Get Carter; Notes: British author. Started as an animation specialist even working on Yellow Submarine. His Jack Carter series started the noir school of British crime fiction.)
David McKenna (screenplay) – (Known For: American History X; Blow; S.W.A.T.; Bully; BMT: Get Carter; Body Shots; Notes: Had 6 feature films made in 6 years following his break-out American History X. Used the pen name Zachary Long for Bully because he was unhappy with the finished product.)
Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: Creed; Rocky; The Expendables 2; The Expendables; Escape Plan; First Blood; Rocky Balboa; Bullet to the Head; Demolition Man; Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over; Rocky III; Antz; Rocky II; Victory; Cop Land; Cliffhanger; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Rocky V; Staying Alive; Zookeeper; Get Carter; Judge Dredd; The Specialist; Rhinestone; Eye See You; Cobra; Rambo III; Over the Top; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Avenging Angelo; Daylight; The Expendables 3; Reach Me; Tango & Cash; Assassins; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Lock Up; Grudge Match; Oscar; Notes: There is literally nothing I can say to emphasize how important Sly is to BMT. We named the yearly cycle the Stallonian Calendar for God’s sake.)
Razzie Cred for Stallone: Won – 2000 for Worst Actor of the Century; 1990 for Worst Actor of the Decade; 2004 for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over; 1995 for Worst Screen Couple for The Specialist; 1993 for Worst Actor for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; 1989 for Worst Actor for Rambo III; 1986 for Worst Actor, Worst Screenplay for Rambo: First Blood Part II; 1986 for Worst Director, Worst Actor for Rocky IV; 1985 for Worst Actor for Rhinestone; Nominated – 2014 for Worst Actor for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; 2011 for Worst Director for The Expendables; 2002 for Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Screen Couple for Driven; 2001 for Worst Actor for Get Carter; 1999 for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; 1997 for Worst Actor for Daylight; 1996 for Worst Actor for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; 1995 for Worst Actor for The Specialist; 1994 for Worst Screenplay for Cliffhanger, and Michael France; 1992 for Worst Actor for Oscar; 1991 for Worst Actor, Worst Screenplay for Rocky V; 1990 for Worst Actor for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; 1989 for Worst Screenplay for Rambo III; 1988 for Worst Actor for Over the Top; 1987 for Worst Actor, Worst Screenplay for Cobra; 1986 for Worst Screenplay for Rocky IV; 1985 for Worst Screenplay for Rhinestone, and Phil Alden Robinson)
Budget/Gross – $63.6 million / Domestic: $14,967,182 (Worldwide: $19,412,993)
(What in the fuck happened here? This is a trainwreck. This is even worse than Driven, which was released around the same time. Stallone’s worst major motion picture release until the recent Bullet to the Head (god I hate that film).)
#22 for the Action Remake genre
(I. Love. Remake. Plots. The waves …. The waves! This is yet again one of those coming in at a downswing. It also looks like we are on a little downswing ourselves these days. The last three big ones were Red Dawn, Robocop, and Point Break. Oooooof. Yeah, we should probably let this genre breath for a bit boys.)
#59 for the Crime Time genre – Dramas or thrillers centered on the criminals and the world of crime.
(Ha, holy shit. First, the steady incline through the 10’s is interesting. My theory? It is actually just a really consistent genre and the number of total theaters (either in total or reported by boxofficemojo) is just generally going up. And then, BOOM, the genre explodes and then reverts right back to pre-2010 levels again. Looking through the last five years they do seem to be very rarely very successful, so it was probably people getting all excited about The Departed, The Town, and American Gangster coming out post 2005. Get Carter came at kind of a nadir there.)
#52 for the Revenge genre
(A rare one where the movie we look at predates the boom. And a boom that is still ongoing, this plot doesn’t include the hugely successful Deadpool from this year. The undesirable lead has been pretty big on tv recently (Breaking Bad, Fargo, etc.) and I would guess this plot kind of reflects that same growth since the early 2000s. A movie focused on revenge will typically have pretty dark elements to the leads I would guess.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (7/60): A remake that doesn’t approach the standard of the original, Get Carter will likely leave viewers confused and unsatisfied. Also, reviews are mixed concerning Stallone’s acting.
(How… strange. This consensus must harken back to the days where RT actually tried to sum up reviewers’ feelings rather than just make a witty pun. That last tacked on part about Stallone’s acting is something I don’t recall ever seeing before.)
Poster – Get Skloger (B-)
(Not a huge fan of the black and white poster because I don’t like posters that are mostly white. I do like the white font. That’s artistic. And I like how Stallone is artistically modified as well. Can’t totally blame them for the black and white either because there is an outside chance this is based on some of the original Get Carter art. Gonna give is a mediocre B-. Nothing special, but some good things too.)
Tagline(s) – The Truth Hurts (B-)
(I understand what they’re going for here. Stallone is going to hurt you and I guess he’s the truth (?). I just don’t think it’s particularly original (a lot of movies could use it) and doesn’t hint at the story enough (in fact it might be a bit misleading). Still pretty good as a whole once you think through it.)
Keyword(s) – enforcer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 52.3 Get Carter (2000); 25.4 The Package (I) (2013); 25.3 Mercenary: Absolution (IV) (2015); 21.4 Hummingbird (I) (2013); 19.9 Repo Men (2010); 18.1 Predators (2010); 15.0 Savages (2012); 11.8 B. Monkey (1998); 10.9 Interview with a Hitman (2012); 10.4 New Jack City (1991);
(What is this list. I’m starting to regret adding this keyword thing because this one is just weird. Honestly Get Carter is the only enforcer movie we would ever consider for BMT apparently. What a weird keyword IMDb)
Notes – Franchise Pictures was reluctant to cast Mickey Rourke in light of his troubled past as a Hollywood bad boy. Friend Sylvester Stallone, who put Rourke up for the role, guaranteed a portion of his salary so if Rourke did cause any delays or problems, the production would be covered. Rourke turned up every day on time and was a complete professional. His work impressed Franchise enough that they hired him shortly after for their next film The Pledge.
When Doreen asks Carter why he went away for so long, Carter responds, “That’s a long story.” Doreen replies, “It’s a long ride back.” These lines were also spoken in Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) when John Rambo is speaking with his Vietnamese insider.
The original screenplay Stallone signed on for was much more violent and focused more on the “revenge” element.
Director Stephen Kay clashed with Franchise Pictures, the financier, over the tone of the film. Kay wanted the film to be more of an “anti-revenge” film, while Franchise wanted a more traditional Stallone action picture. (Ha. Odd, but I agree with the studio here)
There were plans to do a sequel which never materialized.
Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone)
Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel