7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Death Proof - Not quite the thrill ride promised
, 9 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Death Proof [DVD] (DVD)
Other reviewers have dealt with the fact that this film was originally released as a double feature with Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror under the title Grindhouse, so I wont go into that again here.
This part of the feature is Quentin Tarantino's homage to the Grindhouse genre of cinema, those cheap, gory films that infested the flea pits of the seventies and eighties. In all honesty all Tarantino's films could be said to be an homage or continuation of this genre, but her it is more overt. The story is essentially that Kurt Russell's Stuntman Mike likes to kill people using his car as the weapon. It's a great story, and could lead to a thrilling action packed film (which is what you'd think you were getting from the advert!)
But Tarantino is far to interested in being clever to bother delivering what you're expecting. The film is shot largely in that old fashioned oversaturated technicolour, which gives it a seventies feel. To add to the effect, there are lots of deliberate scratches on the film, editing errors, jumps and flickers and even a short section filmed in black and white. Tarantino has made so much effort to make it feel like a cheap seventies flick that it almost feels churlish when you get annoyed by the artifice rather than charmed by it.
Most of the film is girls sat round various bars and cars chattering inanely with dialogue that is supposedly cool and witty, but in reality incredibly dull. Kurt Russell is a great contrast, not saying too much but making a huge impression. He really seems to enjoy his role, and gets right into the spirit of the creepy Mike, relishing some of the best lines in the film.
When the action finally picks up it is supremely well staged. Got to give Tarantino that, no one stages action scenes quite as well as he does. And the car chases and smashes, when they arrive, are a real thrill. The final sequence is worth sitting through the rest of the film for.
The sound track, as so often the case with Tarantino, is a real strength. A well chosen set of tracks that really drive the film along and accentuate the vibe. This aspect I loved all the way through.
3 stars in total. It's a bit too knowing and clever for its own good, but when it gets going it does so with style and verve. And any director who mentions one of my favourite bands, Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Titch, so prominently gets an extra mark from me!
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