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In: Film and Music

Submitted By elperro232000
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Adaptation Essay
04/08/2010
Adaptation of “Payback” and “Point Blank” to the Hunter Richard Stark’s novel “The Hunter” is about a guy name Parker who is seeking revenge after being left for dead by his partner and his wife. The novel entails the path of revenge that Parker seeks amongst his wife and partner. This novel has been adapted into the films “Point Blank” and “Payback.” Film adaptation is the transfer of printed work to a film, the novel being used as the basis of a film. John Bormann uses the novel as a blueprint that can be followed closely or completely changed to be traditional to his own vision for the film (Dick 276-289). The films “Payback” and “Point Blank” are a version of the Hunter, but not the actual version, there are many ways that the film maker’s “preserved the essence” of the novel. In the film “Point Blank,” Walker seeks his revenge after being betrayed by his partner Mal Reese and his wife, in a heist and Walker being left to die with bullet wounds. Walker being the central character in the film portrays a cold, ruthless man that will stop at nothing until he recovers the money that was stolen from him (Applegate). Parker the main character in “The Hunter” is also a ruthless man and also sought revenge against the ones who betrayed him. One example of this is in the novel, when the one guy who had betrayed him had protection of the mob since he used the money to get on the good graces of the crime organization, Parker took on the entire mob just to seek revenge. In the novel, Parker has memories of his unfaithful wife; Walker in the film has memories of happy times when they were both together is another way the film maker chose to keep the same. In the film Payback, Porter is lying brutally wounded with gunshots in the back. He is left for dead by his ex-wife and his former partner. Porter is portrayed as a machine in the film. Each move he makes is thought out properly and executed. Parker is a career criminal who is very good at what he does. Parker is also like a machine on the route to seek vengeance. The film maker adapts the characteristics of the Parker and Porter to be similar in how they carry out their business. Parker is methodical and is eager to murder to seek revenge or get what he wants. Parker, being the cold criminal, is ruthless and would kill cops and anyone else who is in the way of him seeking his justice. Also in the film “Payback,” Porter is forced to deal with the crime organization The Outfit, the Chinese, and corrupt police officers. Both the Hunter and “Payback” takes place in New York. The film “Point Blank” takes place in Alcatraz. It seems like the film maker saw how poorly “Point Blank” was in the American markets and decided to go back to the setting in the novel (Applegate). It seemed like Helgeland wanted to make the director’s cut version of “Payback” with more action and wanted to portray Porter as an anti-hero with a tough guy attitude. Like the Hunter, Parker’s attitude Mel Gibson’s “Payback” had more violence than the Hunter. The novel The Hunter by Richard Stark lacked the symbolic meaning of the Boorman’s version. In “Point Blank” Marvin strikes the man with a karate chop to the lower body area which resulted in a deadly encounter. In the Hunter and “Payback” the fighting scenes and actual killing are more realistic in the sense that gun usage and lethal blows to vital body parts in portraying the death. Another way the directors of the films showed similar adaptations of the novel was by portraying all the main characters as good men prior to the betrayals. Another comparison of all three of these works is the names. In the Hunter the main characters name was Parker; “Payback” Mel Gibson’s character was Porter; and in “Point Blank” the main character was Walker. Unlike “Point Blank” and the Hunter, “Payback” has the over the top violence. I believe that the director Helgeland’s wanted to “preserve the essence” of the original novel by over-doing the violence. The meaning is altered in “Payback” when Porter tries to help his wife when he finds out she’s a heroine junkie. It shows that the director wanted to portray a tough guy, but with minimal sympathy. In the other works the main characters are not as sympathetic. Another way the director preserved the essence in a way is by making Porter’s first name a mystery. In the Hunter, Parker’s first name is Lee Marvin. I believe that the films “Payback” and “Point Blank” portrayed adaptations of the novel the Hunter in many ways. Some of the similarities were the names each of the main characters; Porter, Parker, and Walker. Each of these characters was betrayed by people that were close to them. These characters were seeking revenge on those who betrayed them along with seeking their cut of the money that they stole. Another comparison between all these works was that these men were all precise criminals who could be considered a professional thief. Some of the contrasting qualities of these works were the actual violence portrayed. The film “Payback” went over the top with the violence and had minimal laughter and jokes. “Point Blank” was the first remake of the novel the Hunter and had very little similarities to the novel; it’s just how the director viewed it as. This film was not a big hit; therefore Mel Gibson’s remake of “Point Blank” portrayed more similarities such as setting and the “skills” of both criminals Porter and Parker. Their mentalities are similar in the sense that they both will stop at nothing to seek revenge on those who betrayed and stole what was theirs.

Works Cited
Dick, Bernard. Anatomy of Film. 6th. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010. 276-289. Print.

Applegate, Tim. "Remaking Point Blank." Film Journal (2002): n. pag. Web. 8 Apr 2010. <http://www.thefilmjournal.com/issue8/pointblank.html>.…...

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