Quentin Tarantino is the king of exploitation. He’ll take a style of movie, usually some b-grade cult classics, and blend all the best parts into a whole new movie, and have all his fan boys flock and call him a genius. He’s had some sure fire hits (Pulp Fiction) and some dogs (Jackie Brown) and what he lacks in originality, he usually makes up for by pushing the envelope anyway he can.
Death Proof, originally one part of the double billing Grindhouse concept tries to take the magic of cult car movies by throwing in Kurt Russell as a serial killer who uses his car as a weapon of mass destruction.
On the surface it sounds great, who doesn’t love a great car movie, especially one with a serial killer? (Ok, so maybe not everyone). In reality however the movie lacks the one great expectation I had for this movie: a sharp comedic edge. Maybe I missed the subtle references to movies I’ve never seen, but for the most part it had me snoring for the first half.
When the movie did kick into high gear, it did some with passion. The action that had been mostly missing from the first half came fast and furious, and humour started to appear – mostly Kiwi style in the for of Kiwi stunt gal Zoe Bell. But alas it seemed a little to late to save the movie and left me wondering why I had just wasted an entire evening.
On the flip side, I have to hand it to Mr Tarantino, he certainly knows haw t make a modern movie feel and look like a cult classic, not that should necessarily be something worth achieving.
Food for thought:
A serial killer who calls his weapon of choice (his car) ‘Death Proof’ is certainly someone with a God Complex – he even seems to talk to the man upstairs at one point, complaining that everything was not working out the way it should. Possibly he should have considered a little proverb that goes something along the lines of “Pride goes before destruction…”
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: R16 – Contains Offensive Language, Violence & Other Content That May Offend.
Duration: 115 mins.
Genre: Action & Adventure.
Director: Quentin Tarantino.
Actors: Rosario Dawson, Kurt Russell, Rose McGowan, Jordan Ladd, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Parks, Vanessa Ferlito, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Tracie Thoms, Zoe Bell, Sydney Poitier, Eli Roth.
Release Date: Tuesday 29th April, 2008.