review by Neo
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have clichés been so much fun…
Quentin Tarantino loves the past and in his latest homage to his childhood influences is really “Death Proof” and probably reviews proof. Fans of QT will no doubt embrace his clever dialogue and his unique bland of directing and for that manner alone, QT just never disappoints. Shooting a 21st century setting, in the style of those trashy “grind house” cinema of the 70s, is certainly a delight to watch and fun is certainly a word to describe this trashy in a good way type of movie. Before getting shot right in the middle of the head, Neo have a confession to make, he is a big fan of Tarantino and some manner of subjectivity will be sensed. To call, Tarantino, the Wong Kar Wai of the west is really an understatement as both directors have their own unique brand of cinema. While Wong Kar Wai lingers upon the issue of timing, Tarantino is more direct and brunt. Death Proof isn’t QT’s best work, but it is easily his most fun and assessable work to late and the good news is that it is fun in a trashy way.
The movie goes like this: Kurt Russell is stuntman Mike who enjoys the pure pressure of stalking young girls and killing them with his stunt car…
When viewing any QT’s film, there is no doubt that the director and the script clearly overshadows the actors. Still, Kurt Russell fits in the mould of a guy still living in the 70s, within the character of stuntman Mike. Looking at his performance, there is no doubt that Russell is having a great due of fun and while his evil antics are never explained, the audience never feel detached as it is the deliberate unevenness of the film that makes it work. In a scene straight out of QT’s books is a lap dance sequence by the surprisingly scene stealing Vanessa Ferlito. Of the pack of actresses, Ferlito stands out of the pack and managed to steal the audience’s attention in an ultra natural performance.
What’s so great about any QT’s films is without doubt the quirky and direct dialogue. Who can possibly forget those witty one liners way back in Pulp Fiction, and Death Proof certainly does not lag back in this department. One scene in the car with Kurt and Rose McGowan, where Kurt asked her which way she wanted to go and the response by Kurt is just a classic example of a priceless moment of QT’s cinema. As mentioned before, Death Proof is literally review proof as QT is given an enormous amount of freedom in breaking every rule in Hollywood cinema today. By paying homage to the 70s, QT cuts his film at random moments and while the unevenness may seem odd to some, it actually worked to the film’s advantage in Neo’s honest opinion.
All in all, Death Proof is really a fun, trashy, 70s, cool, carefree, filled with stunts and a great car ride to boot. It is by no means as polish as Kill Bill, or as witty as Pulp Fiction, but Death Proof stands well with its two feet. Tarantino loves the 70s and his footprints are stamped all over this flick, from the dialogue to the brutal and real killing sequences to the deliberate trashy editing, Death Proof clearly works because of its director. To be perfectly honest, Death Proof is unlikely to gain Tarantino any new fans, but for his existing fans like Neo, it is like a present on the doorstep. To the non-fans of Tarantino, even if you do not like his style, there is a lot of fun to be had. To the fans of the aforementioned person, no further words are required…
I rate it 9/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Starring: Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Jordan Ladd, Sydney Poitier, Tracie Thoms, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Zoë Bell, Rose McGowan, Marley Shelton
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino