Customer Reviews: Revenge
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on September 13, 2000
I've never been able to understand the beef critics had with this movie. Yes, it's violent. Seeing Madeleine Stowe's character turned into a heroin-addicted prostitute is hard to watch. But does this make it a bad movie? Or is it bad because Costner's character seeks revenge, and offs some bad guys? I suspect that Stowe's character's fate has most to do with why this movie was so broadly panned. Much of this movie is brutal. Is this worse, though, than showing violence that doesn't seem to hurt? Gunfights in which the heroes get shot and just shake it off? I don't think so. The violence in this movie is brutal because the story demands it.
There isn't more to say, probably, than has already been said, but I found the narrative well-paced, the characters believeable, and the story compelling. The final confrontation was wholly plausible, and the right denouement for the film: both redemptive and logical given what we know about the characters.
This is a sadly underrated movie, one well-worth seeing.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 29, 2008
This has always been one of my favorite Costner films. Usually, director's cuts of films include omitted material, that expands on and enhances the original film. Tony Scott, the director, has now brought out a director's cut that is actually more than fifteen minutes shorter than the original. He has ruined the film.

It's not just that the film has been shortened, but new material, that obviously was left on the cutting room floor originally for a reason, has been reinserted, totally throwing off the rhythm of the film and, while perhaps making it "faster", has ruined much of the character development and added nothing. It's much worse.

Main change are:

* A scene where Costner arrives in Mexico and has a conversation with Tomas Milan, Quinn's #2 man, is shortened so that the animosity between Costner and Milan later on seems less logical.

* The scene of Quinn and Costner walking toward the tented dining table outside the house, just after their first tennis match has been shortened., Two key piece of character development have been cut. First, where Costner and Quinn talk about Quinn's tennis skills as they approach the tent, and Costner tells Quinn that Quinn "never concedes a point". The second, after Costner has given Quinn a leather flight jacket. One of Quinn's dogs grabs the jacket in his teeth, and Quinn ruthlessly grabs the dog by the collar and hurls it into the swimming pool, amply displaying Quinn's capacity for brutality.

* A scene with Anthony Quinn and Stowe, just after Costner arrives in Mexico, that helps explain Quinn's relationship to his wife and her place in his scheme of things has been cut.

* In the scene where Costner and Stowe talk alone in the library during the dinner party at Quinn's house, the part of the scene where Stowe enters and finds Costner reading a book of Spanish poetry, one of her favorite books it turns out, and he recites several lines in Spanish, and relates a story of his time serving in the Air Force while stationed in Spain, has been cut. This deprives the characters of one of the most important early empathetic links, that they are intellectually and culturally more attuned to each other than to the others around them. This also cuts Costner's line "Did I just blow your mind?", after he reads a passage aloud in Spanish and then translates it into English. This makes Stowe's use of this same line later in the scene, when she tells of how she came to be married, and Costner's line "it's not polite to mimic people..." rather odd and out of nowhere.

* The scene where Quinn and Stowe talk by the pool after the party, as Quinn emerges from a late night swim and dons a robe, has been cut. In this scene Stowe asks what happened to Diaz, one of the men at the party, who Quinn had executed right in the house just moments before. He lies about the man's whereabouts. This is an important character defining scene for Quinn and shows Stowe's disquiet at her husband's unspoken but suspected activities.

* In the scene at Costner's beach bungalow, the day after the party, Stowe suddenly appears, holding a book. The sequence where she gives it to Costner has been cut, as the preceding scene in the library with the book has been cut also. Nevertheless, on the next cut Costner is holding the book, with no explanation of how it passed between them or what it's import is.

* In the scene where Costner and Stowe walk on the beach, the sequence where Costner tells Stowe about his failed marriage has had an alternate take substituted, with much vaguer dialog and poorer acting. Once again, this deprives the characters of the prior material that had showed their empathetic feel for each other.

* In the scene at the beach where Costner shows Stowe the trick his dog can do, and Stowe dares him to let her try it, the scene of the actual trick has been substituted with an alternative angle and take that is far less effective and satisfying than the original.

* In the same beach walk scene, a further sequence of Costner and Stowe talking as they walk along, that gave Stowe's character nuance, empathy and dignity, has been cut, and previously cut footage of Stowe standing before Costner on the beech in a totally phony rain shower has been reinserted. This ruins what had been a charming classic bit of Costner business, and deletes a very sexy bit of chat between Costner and Stowe. Tony Scott seems intent on purging any hint of intellectual or cultural empathy between the characters, and seems determined to reduce them to comic book characters or. worse, just images of desire and attraction in a perfume or beer commercial.

* The scene of Costner trying to make lemonade in the kitchen of his beach bungalow while Stowe watches, that originally appeared before they went for their walk on the beach, has been shortened, cutting intimacy between the two, and now appears before they go for their walk on the beach. This scene was the payoff of the beach sequence, that showed the growing sexual awareness and tension between the two.

* At the political victory party, Costner appears in his jacket, Then he is suddenly standing at the buffet table without it. The short bit where a maid asks him if she can take his coat has been cut, which then makes it somewhat less obvious why Costner has gone to the room where guests coats are being kept, where he meets Stowe for their first love making.

* The scene where Costner and Stowe talk while standing by the swimming pool at the party has been cut. In this scene Costner comments on the between the lines nature of their relationship, telling her he didn't come down to Mexico to get into trouble, and looks up to notice Tomas Milan observing them from a balcony. Without this scene the later scenes where Quinn implies he knows there is something going on between Costner and Stowe seem more abrupt and from out of nowhere.

* New music has been added to the sex in the coat room sequence that is both annoying and distracting. The scene has been lengthened and made more explicit. The prior music, what might have been considered a "love theme", that was synergistic with both the party music outside and the theme music of the film, has been cut. The sex scene is now more explicit, brutal, senseless, and less interesting.

* The scene of Stowe attempting to talk to Costner while she sits in his jeep outside Quinn's house, after a tennis game, has been cut. Once again, this is a direct attack on any material that would waste time on showing the adult level empathy and chemistry between the characters, anything that would reveal why they are, as human beings, so hot for each other.

* The original scene of Costner and Stowe after love making in a hotel room has been cut and replaced with a shorter alternate angle and take of them in bed that explains less about their characters but clumsily foreshadows plot developments.

* The scene of Coster and Stowe in the justly well known make out sequence while Coster is driving his Jeep has had the music replaced with a more contemporary track that totally changes the rhythm and feel of the scene.

* The scene of Costner and Stowe swimming nude has been lengthened with previously cut footage of them hanging out and carousing, and Stowe doing a sexy dance, getting all over Costner in what appears to oral sex, and Costner drinking a beer. It totally ruins the feel of the sequence, and makes Stowe's character look cheap and vulgar, where before she had seem almost regal.

* For reasons that are incomprehensible, the love making scene between Costner and Stowe at Costner's mountain cabin, a pivotal scene in the film that is prelude to the savage beating they both are about to take from Quinn, has been radically shortened, completely cutting a sequence where they talk in bed about ther lives and Costner tells about his war experiences.

* The sequence where Costner convalesces with a Mexican peasant family while recovering from the beating he received from Quinn's men now includes a completely gratuitous and pointless scene of Costner helping the farmer get his old truck running.

* Sally Kirkland's part has been cut down.

* The scene at the end at the convent where Costner carries Stowe in his arms outside, where she dies, has been cut down and is now far less visually interesting and compelling.

* Numerous small bits of dialog have ben cut, and a few extra bits of footage added that either obscure the character development or add nothing to the story.

In short: one of the very best Costner films, and one of the best Tony Scott films, has been ruined by the director himself. If some of the cut footage had been added back to the original version it might have been supportable, and added to an already great film. To not offer both the original and the new version on the same Blu-Ray disc is just ridiculous.

Shame on you Tony Scott! You have purged and cut every adult moment, every reflective passage, every poetic instinct and every empathetic gesture and utterance from the characters, all in the name of speeding up the film and getting a few more seconds in of Madeleine Stowe in sex scenes. You have needlessly used cutting room trims that were clearly left, perhaps under the adult supervision of Ray Stark, on the cutting room floor for good reason.

Now we will never get a proper version of Revenge on Blu-Ray. Other than the obvious technical superiority of the Blu-Ray disc to the DVD version, there is no reason to buy this edition.
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on August 24, 2002
...Costner's character did not want to go down that road, but the lady of the house was beautiful and he couldn't help himself. Stowe wanted to remember what love felt like: she was being kept by the Latin aristocratic ancien regime
figure Anthony Quinn (in full Onassis mode), who loved her like a caged canary which is admired from outside the cage...
So, Costner, the pilot, and Stowe (the nearest thing this Mexican land has to Evita) plans The Getaway, The Tryst, The Tete-a-tete...and just when they feel the world couldn't be any more heavenly, WHAM! Quinn and his men beat Costner within inches to death, they shoot the dog, they slash Stowe's beautiful face in half and throw Costner out in the road somewhere and Stowe in the Bordello so any one with the price to have her, can have their way.
And that would've probably been the end of the story, except Costner had fallen for the lady which has made him lose so much.
He wants to find her and he wants to get in touch with these dirty rats who did this to them. And he goes thru hell and high water to get to that point.
This isn't exactly a quick-edit, fire and explosions action flick. It moves slow. In fact, some critics say it moves too slow. But mebbe them guys didn't get it. It's slow and gritty and dusty and muggy and foggy as those days in Mexico can get. It has some breath taking camera work of the Mexican country side and some equally effective shots of lowlife in Mexican border towns. There are scenes which make you feel like you should get up and take a shower, they are so musty and full of sweat. And there is so much about honor between men. And dishonor between men.
And, to me that's the point.
And, like in real life, in the end, the boy gets the girl, but at a great price.
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on April 11, 1999
A story about uncontrollable passion and desire that forces two people to act upon impulses they know they should put aside---but they cannot control their true feelings, and act with reckless abandon.
Madelaine Stowe is the lovely lady in an unfulfilling marriage to Tibby Mendez (Anthony Quinn) that Jay, Costner's character, almost immediately falls in love with.
Tibby belongs to the Mexican underworld, probably a drug king-pin, and befriends Jay who saved Tibby's life in a hunting accident. When Tibby invites Jay to spend a few weeks at his estate in Mexico, he never imagined Jay would attempt to steal his lovely young wife.
This is a solid story, with strong characters, and fine acting all around. However, understand what this film is not. This is not a 'date movie', and not a 'happy' story, but it does indeed reflect real life, and how things do not always end up rosy in the end, or the way we want them. It simply tells a good story, something many films never seem to accomplish, and we get to come along for the ride.
Some have criticized the last part of the film as being tough to watch, but if that were a reason not to like a film, Braveheart would be 'unwatchable' as well.
This is a story that anyone who has ever felt an uncontrollable passion for someone else, will identify with. Costner's character feels this when he falls for Tibby's wife, and again when he must find her---at all costs---when he loses her.
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on August 14, 2009
There are two different versions of Revenge, and each one is a little different. I have both versions and have watched both of them. So, here is a little summary of the differences and I hope it helps you decide which version to get.

The Original Version of Revenge: Is in Full Frame Format and is 123 minutes long. It is Rated R.

Revenge The Directions Cut: Is in Widescreen format and is 100 minutes long. This version is Unrated.

Besides the differences listed above, one of the biggest differences in Revenge The Directions Cut is in the love scenes. In particular, when Kevin Costner and Madeline Stowe are in the jeep and are on their way to Kevin's cabin, they have a sexual encounter. I have to say it is on the pornographic side and it's kind of raunchy. I think that's why this version is unrated. But, besides this, if you notice Revenge The Directions Cut is actually 20% shorter than the Original Version. They literally take out 1/5 of the story out and make this movie into just about a sexual affair and revenge. Because of this, a lot of the story is missing, and we really miss out on the love between Kevin's character and Madeline's character.

After watching these two versions, I would definitely recommend getting The Original Version of Revenge because it is a more complete story and we really see the love between and desire between the love struck couple.
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on July 17, 2006
This DVD is confusingly listed on every website I have checked as "Widescreen/Pan & Scan," and "2.35:1" and so on. This is not correct. The movie is presented ONLY in full frame format, and the picture quality is SO BAD that it appears to have been transferred from an old VHS tape by some shady characters on the Black Market.

What really shocks me, though, is that none of the 38 reviews here on mention the incorrect aspect ratio listing or the terrible image quality.

Unfortunately this movie does not appear to have been released in any other Region - all other countries I've checked just sell the US import - so this terrible version is the only one around. It's too bad, really, because I remember seeing this film years ago on TV in all its WS glory and it was absolutely magnificent. If anyone knows where to get a better copy please post it here.

5 stars for the film, none at all for the DVD.

It's hard to believe that any studio would take a film with such great cinematography that was filmed on high quality film stock and put out a DVD release which almost looks as though it was camcordered in a theatre. Please, please, please put out a proper studio release from the original master print so that we can see this film the way it originally looked in the cinema.
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on January 31, 2005
I was recently in a staff meeting where we had to share our all-time favorite movie. I am a movie-aholic and this is among my top five. Why? Not because most people drool over Kevin Costner (he doesn't do much for me, actually). It's because it is the only movie I've seen 30 or more times that can STILL make me cry as hard as I did the first time I saw it. Anthony Quinn is a film god and always will be, 'nuff said. As for Madeline Stowe, I just wish she would make more movies for she is truly an underrated (and undercast) gem. I don't buy into what critics and some other reviewers here apparently dislike. It is what it is ... violence and spousal abuse notwithstanding ... that's just part of the movie and I suppose, part of that culture. But as for a TRUE love story with a final scene that will make you boo hoo out loud, this one cannot be beat! Grab the Kleenex ...
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on August 21, 2005
I saw this movie a few years back for the first time. I missed it when it came out in theaters....I participated in Operation Desert Shield/Storm and perhaps missed many things. I was amazed at how great this movie was, from beginning to end. I wanted to buy the soundtrack but couldn't find it so I bought the movie.

The final few minutes were flawless. Perfect harmony with song and mood. Costner and Stowe were very convincing.
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on August 15, 2005
I have seen this film repeatedly and honestly how often do you see a movie that is compelling from beginning to end. Its racy, violent, passionate and moving all wrapped into one. I felt an understanding of the love, pain, betrayal and yes the need for revenge. It was entertaining and an epic portrayal of love and pain. I own this on VHS and DVD just so I never run out of viewing options. Buy this its well worth it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 4, 2008
Well, that would seem to be the problem now wouldn't it?

A great under appreciated Costner action flick, but I think in general his work is slightly undervalued. A just retired F-14 pilot, Costner is anxious for some peace and quiet in Mexico hanging out at his remote cabin with his dog, and whacking tennis balls with his mobster pal/father figure Tibby, played convincingly by Anthony Quinn. Somehow during the development of their relationship, Tibby forgot to mention that he had an extraordinarily hot wife, Madeline Stowe, with a biological clock in unfulfilled overdrive. (Note to self: when you are 75 and married to a hot and sexually frustrated 30 year old, keep her away from your stud jet jockey buddies.)

OK, so we all know nothing good can come from this right. Well, Tibby finally gets a clue when he figures out why all the windows are steamed up in his desert villa, sets the dogs on our flyboy, and banishes his wife to a whore house where the proprietor is ordered to keep her hopped up on heroin while she is fed to the lowest rung of the social order they can drag up. Painful to watch actually as things appear to be semi-hopeless, but as the title suggests it ain't over til its over.

This is a great study in friendship, passion, betrayal, revenge, and ultimately justice. One of Tony Scott's better films IMO. The DVD presents a nice transfer, no extras, who the movie. 4 Jeeps
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