Payback (***) - You know, sometimes itís a lot of fun to see a movie that relishes in its depiction of violence. Thereís no pussyfooting around in Payback. This film goes for violence and shows its violence - sometimes so graphic and unexpected that youíre not always prepared for it and then chuckle at its audacity to show it.From the terrific opening credits you can tell this filmís style owes a lot to films of the late 60s and all of the 70s. Shot in a hazy saturated mix of blues and grays this film has film noir written all over it. Even the music suggests a throwback to the crime movies of those decades. So weíve covered the style - is the movie any good? I certainly thought so. Itís not necessarily a mainstream action film but more along the lines of an Elmore Leonard adaptation. Lots of colorful and strange characters. Incredible bursts of violence. And a wicked dark sense of humor thatíll keep most people from getting squeamish during the brutal moments. Mel Gibson is the perfect choice to play this role and he has a lot of fun with the part of the guy who would otherwise be the villain in another film. But by surrounding himself with even worse people like his double-crossing partner, drug dealers, crooked cops, and syndicate bosses (played by old throwbacks Kris Kristofferson, James Coburn, and William Devane) we immediately root for him.The film will essentially be remembered for its sense of style and graphic violence (towards men and women) more than its story which isnít very complex - but still a lot of fun. The filmís most wince-inducing piece of violence is a mixture of Misery with the cheater scene in Casino with a little ďfreedomĒ torture thrown in from Braveheart. Itís a rough moment but one can be grateful that the filmmakers didnít wimp out with it as is the case with most mainstream film noirs. Sure there could have been more to this film - but I enjoyed it all the same and give it a recommendation.