Yesterday, after Thanksgiving dinner, it was time to settle in front of the television for the traditional evening movie. This year, movie was time was reserved for Death Proof, the Quentin Tarantino grindhouse flick from 2007. After all, what could be more in the spirit or the holiday than a stylish homage to homicidal B-Movie car flicks?
I avoided this film in theaters, partly because it was a four hour double feature with Planet Terror, and I just can't sit in a theater that long. Plus, I will admit to thinking it was a little foolish to spend $53 million to make a movie that was supposed to feel like a low budget flick. But that was also when I was feeling a little down on Quentin. I've since rediscovered my appreciation for his brand of crazy and finally got around to catching up on this missed film. Needless to say, it was pretty damn cool.
The film featured classic Tarantino character types, slightly off and ultra hip. Kurt Russell was spectacular as Stuntman Mike. His character was reminiscent Quentin characters from his Natural Born Killers script, both charismatic and dangerous. The girls he pursues felt straight out of his 90's cool period. In fact, much of their dialogue would have felt at home in Pulp Fiction or Jackie Brown. There were no dull lines, or even dull moments in the film.
As for the concerns that kept me away from it in the theaters, I couldn't have been more wrong to worry about them. The editing was an art form in its own, creating that B-Movie feel in an exciting and stylish way that never felt haphazard. But naturally the highlight of the film was the muscle car adrenaline. In a lot of ways, this is last of the original Tarantino films, before he went on to tackle more serious subject matter in Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. This film definitely doesn't have the same kind of impact as his more celebrated films, but it certainly is a joyride and one I'm glad I finally went on.