Fasten your seat belt, it's gonna be a bumpy ride. Quentin Tarantino pays homage to his B-movie favourites in this adrenaline fuelled tale of a psychotic stuntman's serial attempts to stalk hot babes in his supercharged, 'death proof' Chevy. Having already dealt with one set of women in Texas, Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) moves on to Tennessee, where he targets another posse of head-turning women. But this time Mike finds that he's bitten off more than he can chew, as the three girls (Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thoms, and Zoe Bell) give as good as they get, culminating in an 18-minute car duel (without CGI), which references some of the classic chase movies of the past. As with any Tarantino film, there are numerous nods to pop culture, along with razor-sharp dialogue that just keeps coming.
Loud, fast, and proudly out of control, Grindhouse is a tribute to the low-budget exploitation movies that lurked at drive-ins and inner city theaters in the '60s and early '70s. Writers/directors Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill
) and Robert Rodriguez (Sin City
) cooked up this three-hour double feature as a way to pay homage to these films, and the end result manages to evoke the down-and-dirty vibe of the original films for an audience that may be too young to remember them. Tarantino's Death Proof
is the mellower of the two, relatively speaking; it's wordier (as to be expected) and rife with pulp/comic book posturing and eminently quotable dialogue. It also features a terrific lead performance by Kurt Russell as a homicidal stunt man whose weapon of choice is a souped-up car. Tarantino's affection for his own dialogue slows down the action at times, but he does provide showy roles for a host of likable actresses, including Rosario Dawson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rose McGowan, Sydney Poitier, and newcomer Zoe Bell, who was Uma Thurman's stunt double in Kill Bill. Detractors may decry the rampant violence and latch onto a sexist undertone in Tarantino's feature, but for those viewers who grew up watching these types of films in either theaters or on VHS, such elements will be probably be more of a virtue than a detrimental factor. --Paul Gaita
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