Death Proof

The coolest film of the year, fact!
This will be the coolest film of the year, that’s a fact. However it’s very hard for me, a devout Tarantino fan, not to be honest about this, his latest offering, Death Proof. In a nutshell this film is two unnecessarily elongated scenes. In the first scene the anti-hero Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) kills a bunch of girls in a full on head to head collision after they have a pointless rendezvous with Dov (Eli Roth) in a bar. In the second scene, Zoë Bell wants to get radical in a Dodge Challenger. While playing a game of chicken, Stuntman Mike tries to ram them off the road and fails. He is then revealed to be nothing but a sad old sexually repressed burn out and is killed ten minutes later after a pointless and utterly life-sappingly dull car crash. The End.

Death Proof could be interpreted as a film that celebrates the strength of woman. The latter story sees them coping well without, and ultimately annihilating, their male aggressor. Similarly, in the first half of the movie, the girls ultimately meet their demise after resisting Dov’s advances and making a bid for the hills to have a girly weekend. This, however, is not enough to stop you from falling asleep; the dialogue between Abernathy (Rosario Dawson) and Bell in a roadside café is incidental and not engaging in the slightest. It’s particularly poor when you hold it up against John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson’s exchanges in Tarantino’s past glories.

Tarantino was the master at putting substance into cool, but with this effort he has become a parody of himself. Some purists will disagree claiming I’ve misunderstood the point of what he was trying to achieve, and that his 120 minute opus is a perfect homage to grindhouse and off-beat, occult American cinema. In my eyes, it’s a great little ‘must do’ thing ticked off a list from a legend who reinvented cinema during my youth and now is enjoying himself and fulfilling his childhood dreams. Who am I to stand in his way?

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