I can honestly say that this film never bored me. That isn’t always a good thing as the first 20 minutes didn’t make a whole lot of sense for a first-time viewer like myself. I was vaguely aware of Walker, Lee Marvin’s character getting shot, then many scenes seem to happen in no particular order, then he’s looking for someone but I’m not sure why, except that maybe he was the guy who shot him? It finds a point but it’s so disjointed up to then. After this weird beginning though the story picks up as a messenger for the mob shows up and Walker takes his first steps in his quest for revenge.
I do enjoy a good revenge story, though I feel a lot of familiar beats to the likes of Kill Bill and John Wick. I know these were made long after this movie was released, but it still feels all too familiar in tone and style, though not pacing. It can be very slow paced, just but this is undercut by sudden bursts of extreme violence, which is a pretty good way of breaking up the scenes really, a boring scene has suddenly become super exciting, FUN!
It’s a pretty original movie. It combines tropes from older noir movies and combines them with newer crime-action tropes. It makes for an intense experience from twenty-minutes-in to the the end.
There are two types of movies, ones that are character-driven and ones that are plot-driven. Usually, the really good movies anyway, are a mixture of both, but one usually stands out from the other. This is definitely a plot-driven story, but without almost any characterization at all. Walker, we come to understand, is looking for his money that he was screwed out of. That’s all we ever learn about him, and he’s the character we know the most about. Because of this, everything seems far removed for me. All the scenes are happening to characters I could care any less for. I still found the movie entertaining and I never felt like I wanted to stop watching, but it creates a somewhat disjointed film-watching experience. Crazy and violent things are happening but I really don’t care if Walker or anyone else lives or dies. I’m not sure if the movie should lose points for this, like I said, it’s not any less entertaining because of it.
Also, maybe it’s all a dream?
Why it’s probably on the list: It really is a unique experience shot in an interesting way. Though similar to other revenge-themed movies I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like this.