RARA-AVIS: Point Blank vs. The Hunter vs. Payback

From: Nathan Cain ( IndieCrime@gmail.com)
Date: 22 Jul 2007

Last night I watched Point Blank for the first time. I liked the movie, but it seems to me the character of Walker as played by Lee Marvin is a far cry from Westlake's Parker. Walker is very much a haunted figure, who, at times, seems uncertain of what he's doing, and why he's doing it. From the couple of Parker novels I've read (I've never run across a copy of The Hunter), it seems like Parker is never troubled by any sort of doubts. He is a totally amoral professional who steals because it's what he does. He never seems troubled by his career choice, or the use of violence. His stoicism and force of character (even if it's bad character) are part of his charm. I think Point Blank managed to lose that aspect of the character.
  In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Parker character as played by Mel Gibson in Payback came a lot closer to Westlake's Parker than Marvin's character did. (On a related note, in the DVD commentary director John Boorman said the original script for Point Blank, which both he and Marvin hated, was a lot like the script of Payback.)

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