Revenge


Dir: Tony Scott
Starring: Kevin Costner, Madeline Stowe, Anthony Quinn, Miguel Ferrer

Things the movie teach us, #767: don't befriend Mexican gangsters. Or, if you really must, do try and avoid sleeping with their wives. This grim movie isn't what you'd expect from Scott or Costner, despite an opening chunk that seems taken from Top Gun. Fortunately, Costner's pilot rapidly quits the Air Force, heading down to Mexico to hang with buddy Tibby Menendez, who also happens to be the local crimelord, and his wife Mireya (Stowe). It's obvious where this is heading, and the first half will have you urging it to gee-up; once the affair is discovered, and a pair of savage beatings administered, things liven up. Costner tries to find Mireya - who is now otherwise occupied, shall we say (think "drugs" and "whorehouse") - while Menendez realises not killing his former friend outright might have been a mistake. The final scene is fabulous, bringing home the total pointlessness of revenge, and most of the second half has a grim intensity which is a bit of a shock - albeit a pleasant one - and does jar with the languid opening. Costner's descent from cocky flyer to angel of vengeance is well done, though him and Stowe make surprisingly little effort to hide their relationship. I can see why this tanked at the box-office, yet it probably remains one of the better films of Costner's career, and is certainly one of Scott's most thoughtful.

B-


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