Bad Girls: Lucy Liu – Payback
With a whole slew of TV shows like L.A. Law, Hercules, ER, and Nash Bridges to her credit, it’s a surprise that Lucy Liu was ever able to make it out of TV show background Asian at all, but her role in Payback is one that allows her just enough time to stand out without placing too much weight on her as an actress. In fact, I love that we never really learn much about her character. She is, of course, a prostitute who is into all sorts of dominatrix type things and while many of us aren’t going to line up to be whipped and beaten with a chain, the thought of Lucy Liu parading around in leather and fishnet stockings is one that brings joy to men all around the world. Her role in Ally McBeal is probably the one that turned her into more of a household name but her small but memorable turn as Pearl opposite Mel Gibson is one that sticks in my head.
Pearl’s role in the film is mainly as the main squeeze to our main bad guy Val Resnick. Well, I guess he’s not the main bad guy but he’s the reason “Porter” is all pissed off and wants his money back. You’ll notice the parentheses around the name Porter and that is because the movie is actually based off of the character Parker from the novel The Hunter, by Donald E. Westlake. The character would make a later appearance looking an awful lot like Jason Statham in the film Parker. Pearl’s relationship with Resnick and her connection to the Triads makes for trouble for Porter in his attempt to reclaim his stolen money.
Liu is definitely no angel in Payback! (sorry)
Mel trying his best not to peek over his shoulder.