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A Love Letter to 70s Action Movies, with One of the All-Time Great Car Chases
on 11 September 2014
Question Tarantino made Pulp Fiction, an effortlessly cool movie. Ever since then, I think he's been trying to make another super cool film, but not really succeeding. This movie is a good example of that. A gang of 4 badass girls are out on the town, drinking and partying, talking about men, indeed the first half hour of the movie is like a gritty version of Sex and The City. Kurt Russell, who is a brilliant and charismatic actor, easily capable of carrying a movie by himself, plays a psychopathic stuntman, named Stuntman Mike, who stalks sexy young women in his big black American muscle car. The film livens up as soon as Mike starts to feature. He watches the gang of 4 girls in a bar, and gets into a conversation with them, flirting with and teasing them. This all progresses very languorously and stylishly, but I couldn't help feeling that Tarantino was just trying far too hard to make the film cool, and instead it simply drags it's heels for the first 45 minutes or so. However, it then speeds up dramatically, when Mike takes a very sexy young blonde lady for a ride in his muscle car, and kills her using his "death proof" vehicle. Soon after that Mike drives his car into a head on collision with the 4 girls, a sequence which is shot with trademark Tarantino bravissimo. I won't say what happens next, but the film then shoots forwards 14 months, and temporarily goes black and white (remember what I said about Tarantino trying too hard to make his movies cool). Mike is still on the prowl for female victims. Another group of 4 girls are cruising about town, chewing the fat about their relationships with men. They go for a joyride in a white Dodge Charger and cross paths with Stuntman Mike. What follows then is the closing 20 minutes, when you get to see a truly stunning car chase sequence, with some of the best stunts I've seen since the closing half hour chase sequence in Mad Max II. If I'm honest, this is a three star film, but I've given it an extra star because of Kurt Russell's performance and the amazing car chase at the end. It's just a shame that the movie sags whenever Russell is off screen, he only features for about half an hour in total, and when he appears he steals every scene.
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