Talk:Paycheck (film)

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Shouldn't there be a spoiler notice on the list of items, cuz it gives away much of the movie. Or the means in which Affleck uses the items should be removed.

The pre-release version of this film was so much better. Paul Giamatti's character dies in the mall scene (and so is not present at the end as a third wheel). There's no lottery ticket at the end; instead Afleck sees the diamond ring he lost in a pawn shop window (the opportunity to reclaim it). 15:18, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree this might be added in a paragraph, but this describes the actual movie, even it is worse than the original. (talk) 20:22, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

The Reviews were Mixed[edit]

According to Rottentomatoes that'd be a bit of a euphemism. Only 10% of Top critics gave it a positive rating. Greglocock (talk) 10:44, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

  • 27% overall on Rotten Tomatoes. 45% user rating. 43/100 on Metacritic. I'd say the "mixed" is justified. Since when is the Rotten Tomatoes "Cream of the Crop" the only notable collection of reviews? DT29 (talk) 03:02, 27 February 2009 (UTC)


The current plot are more confused than pevious plot. Fernvale (talk) 02:32, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Michael Jennings (Affleck) is a reverse engineer who routinely has his recent memories erased after working on sensitive high-tech projects. He is often helped by his friend Shorty (Giamatti). He agrees to take on a project for James Rethrick (Eckhart), his old college roommate and close personal friend; Rethrick is CEO of Allcom. All Jennings is told is that he is to design something for three years in exchange for Allcom shares which will be worth a minimum of 10 million dollars. He meets and falls in love with Dr. Rachel Porter (Thurman), an Allcom biologist. However, after working for three years on the secret project, he wakes up with his memory erased and learns that he signed away his shares in Allcom, which are worth 92 million dollars. He is left only with an envelope of personal items – most of which he doesn't recognize. It contains the following, seemingly unrelated items:
  1. a pack of cigarettes (used to escape from the FBI by setting off the fire suppressants in an interrogation room, creating a smoke screen – without it he would have died during interrogation)
  2. a pair of tinted sunglasses (allows Jennings to see through the smoke, enabling a quick escape)
  3. a bus pass (the only item common to both the film and original short story; allows Jennings to escape quickly through a bus terminal – the FBI must jump the turnstiles)
  4. a diamond ring (allows a street kid to steal it; had it not happened, Jennings would not have returned to the law firm where he received the envelope so he could ask more questions about its origins; also used in the alternate ending in which Jennings proposes to Porter.)
  5. a fortune from a fortune cookie with lucky numbers printed on the back (winning lottery numbers, and clues to the location of the ticket - proof of the envelope's prophetic nature)
  6. a janitor's key (allows friend to access circuit breakers, creating a distraction)
  7. a can of hair spray (used with lighter as a makeshift flamethrower)
  8. a cigarette lighter (used with hair spray as a makeshift flamethrower)
  9. a paper clip (used to short-circuit electronics to avoid being hit by subway train)
  10. a matchbook (specifies a restaurant where he has a reservation, disguised with water-soluble paint as "new liberty saving" bank)
  11. a BMW key w/ alarm (allows him to identify and utilize a means of escape: an orange and black R1150R Rockster motorcycle)
  12. a loupe (allows him to notice discrepancy on stamp)
  13. a postage stamp on the envelope (contains microfilm with snapshots from the future – the fact that it's Albert Einstein on the stamp is a clue)
  14. a small container of ball bearings (used to set off metal detectors, creating a distraction at security)
  15. a keycard to Allcom's facility (allows him to re-enter his lab)
  16. a hex key (used to open lab door security panel)
  17. an Eisenhower Dollar (used to jam lab door security panel)
  18. a crossword puzzle (locates hardware bug on the machine, allowing him to repair it)
  19. a .45 Caliber cartridge (used to destroy the machine – fired into hydrogen tank by a cycling piston)
  20. a watch (alerts him when to duck a bullet)

Soon he discovers that Allcom security personnel (led by Feore) are after him for some unknown reason, as is the FBI, agents of which tell him he committed treason against the United States. However, using the items now in his possession, Jennings is able to devise ways out of various predicaments and crises.

He soon discovers that he spent the last three years of his life designing and building a laser-enhanced lens which allows the user to see around the curvature of the universe, and thus, into the future; this was theorized by physicist William Dekker (Serge Houde), who had been killed for his work by Allcom agents. After building the machine, Jennings used it to catch a glimpse of the future, foreseeing his own death by gunshot wound. He also learns that the machine is prone to dispensing self-fulfilling prophecies (i.e., a plague is predicted – all those it says are infected are isolated in camps with conditions that create the plague. A war is predicted – the enemy it predicts is attacked first thereby causing the war). Ultimately, human responses to the machine's predictions lead to the downfall of humanity. In desperation, Jennings used the machine in an attempt to escape his death and ultimately destroy his creation. However, since he was completely isolated on the Allcom grounds, he was limited to leaving himself an envelope of innocent, everyday items.

Jennings and Porter make their escape after Rethrick is killed by an undercover FBI sniper (with the bullet that, in an alternative future, would have slain Jennings). The future-viewing device is destroyed as is Rethrick's assistant.

The "paycheck" comes at the end of the movie, when Jennings finds a winning 90 million dollar lottery ticket hidden under the newspaper lining the bottom of Porter's birdcage. This fulfills the fortune cookie's message from earlier in the film, "If you only look where you can't go, you will miss the riches below."


Year of Paycheck ?[edit]

I like to know in which year the story of Paycheck takes place. For example the Blade Runner story is set to the year 2019, Surrogates to 2017, Demolition Man is in 2032, I, Robot in 2035 and Total Recall is set to 2084. --Solphusion (talk) 20:47, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

In the shopping mall while being shot at Ben crouches by a bookshelf with the book From Naked Ape to Super Species: A Personal Perspective on Humanity and the Global Ecocrisis, first published 1999. Ironic, since at the end of the film he's using organic fertiliser.

When the secretary shows Ben Affleck the list of items he's signed for the date of the "airborne" slip is "(9/02)" which is when the movie was made. The signature is dated "5/20/07" which is 4 weeks before the events in the film, so the date of the film is week beginning 18 June 2007. (talk)

Alternative ending[edit]

Above an alternative ending is mentioned. The DVD extra features includes commentaries from Woo and the screenwriter, both of these could be used to add more detailed 'Production' section to the article. It also includes the alternative ending, Rachel asks "Michael did you really plan everything that happened? Are you really that smart?" as they walk past a pawn shop, and Michael notices the thief, and in the shop window the diamond ring. He goes inside and comes out quickly, then proposes to Rachel. Some articles add alternative endings after the plot section. -- (talk) 01:25, 22 August 2014 (UTC)