Review A Day Presents : DEATH PROOF


Written and Directed By - Quentin Tarantino

Starring - Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, and Rosario Dawson

Just like Jesus said, here at Review a day : "The last shall be first". DEATH PROOF is the second half of the Grindhouse opus featuring this film from Tarantino and PLANET TERROR, from his good friend Robert Rodriguez. Billed as being a throwback to the old New York Grindhouse cinema days of the 70s the double bill, which premiered in 2007, enveloped everything that was unique and special about that period of cinema, from the grainy film stock, to the off the wall trailers for films that were coming soon.
It's no secret that I am a huge Tarantino fan. I believe PULP FICTION to be the quintessential film of the last 25 years. There is not one other mainstream director that not only pushes the the visual limits of the medium, but the verbal limits as well as far as Tarantino has been able to push them the last 20 years. Having said that, DEATH PROOF, although a good film is not on the same the level as Tarantinos other masterpieces.
The main issue with the film is the pacing. Frankly its just too "talky". The dialogue is great, but the problem is there is just too much of it. There is over a half an hour of nothing but dialogue before the first set of main characters leaves the bar. Sure we know them intimately, a little too well in some cases, but even the most avid fan of Tarantinos rapier like dialogue is waiting for something to just happen!
The other main issue for the film is that it's really two films in one. There is the first set of characters that is set up before Stuntman Mike offs them, only to repeat the process all over again, this time with an entirely new set of characters. It sets the film on repeat, acting more like two Stuntman Mike serials then one complete, feature length film. It certainly is daring on Tarantinos part, but it misses the mark here.
The movie is not devoid of merit though, far from it. Tarantinos dialogue is, as always, top notch. Its worth watching the film a number of times just to catch everything that may have been missed before. The action sequnces (when they finally do happen) are also first Rate. Zoe Bell does a tremendous job in her first real acting role as one of Stuntman Mikes second set of potential victims. Rosario Dawson is solid as usual as is Vanessa Fertilo, the main object of Stuntman Mikes affections for the first half of the film.

DEATH PROOF, despite it glaring flaws, is still a great piece of Tarantino cinema - Three quarters thumbs up,

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