Monday, 5 August 2013

Get Carter (1971)

Following his excellent performance in The Italian Job playing the cocky cockney Charlie Croker, Michael Caine stars as an equally cheeky chappy in Get Carter but this time he has a vicious side too.  Following the mysterious murder of his brother, gangster Jack Carter (Caine) travels from London to Newcastle to find out why, and to make the perpetrators pay.

A very enjoyable romp, Get Carter is brought alive by a dazzling performance by the indomitable Michael Caine who takes the great script by Mike Hodges, polishes it and really makes it shine.  Initially Caine’s character is similar to his Italian Job persona, but it’s not long until the body count increases and it’s clear that Jack Carter is more likely to blow the bloody doors off on purpose if it would kill someone who conspired against his brother!  Mike Hodges’ direction is inventive and dynamic creating a very stylish film; sometimes flipping the camera upside-down during a chase, and there’s a great scene where Jack is rescued from pursuit by a woman in a sports car (very 007), and the whole thing is seen from a birds-eye camera.  And that’s not to mention the wonderful 60s and 70s decor in the various apartments, giving the film a wonderful gritty working class feel.

There are many revenge movies, the more modern ones being flashy, slick affairs generally with explosive set pieces, however they rarely do anything new.  Get Carter hardly breaks the mould in terms of story, but it does have bags of style, a smart script, clever direction and of course Michael Caine. But, well, you know, that’s just, like, er, my opinion, man.