DEATH PROOF, Quentin Tarantino 2007

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Second part of the Grindhouse, a  project created by Quentin Tarantino and his friend Robert Rodriguez, Death Proof is quite different not only from the first part Planet Terror but also from  his previous successes. It’s probably the less acclaimed film he’s ever created.

The film is divided into two main stories whose common points are Stuntman Mike and his death proof car.

First part is set in Austin, Texas. Arlene and Shanna (remember Shanna Banana, not Shawna Bannuna) pick up the famous local DJ Jungle Julia to spend the evening having drinks and scoring some weed from Lana Franks before going to a cabin by the lake to chill out and rest for some days. Thus, they start their night tour, starting at Guero’s.

Jungle Julia has prepared a special joke for her friend Arlene on the radio, she’s announced they’re hanging around and if some guy would dare to approach her hot and sexy friend and buy her a drink, and recite a small poem looking at her in the eyes to finish calling her Butterfly, she would reward him with a lap dance.

Then, they go to Texas Chili Parlor run by Warren (Quentin Tarantino), whose jukebox is acclaimed as one of the best, and here the girls relax and get drunk, meet some friends and Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) eventually approaches Arlene and makes his presentation.

Butterfly's Lapdance

Butterfly's Lapdance

After a funny night, when the bar closes, the girls take the car and leave and Stuntman Mike, who has offered the beautiful blonde Pam (Rose McGowan) to give a ride, starts the engine of his evil car.

Second story happens in Lebanon, Tennessee. Stuntman Mike happens to stop at the same convenience store where three beautiful women are trying to recover from previous night hangover before picking up their friend Zoe at the airport. He’s attracted by the girls and decide to stalk them for his purposes.

The girls are working in the movie, Abernathy (Rosario Dawson) is the make-up girl, Lee is an actress and the driver Tracie is a stuntwoman, also Zoe.

You can choose

You can choose

Zoe and Tracie are die fans of Vanishing Point, and Zoe’s been checking local press for few months searching for the car in her dreams which happens to be in such remote place: 1970 Dodge Challenger. She can’t afford buying it but at least she’ll be able to test it, so they head for the owner’s house and fool him to enjoy a delightful drive…or maybe a nightmare.

Quentin Tarantino’s taste for feet, vintage cars, good looking women and music is definitely present in this movie: great soundtrack, awesome cars and great car chasing scenes (as classic as Bullit, for instance), very often feet close-ups…

A White-Hot Juggernaut At 200 Miles Per Hour!

A White-Hot Juggernaut At 200 Miles Per Hour!

Nevertheless there are some cons, which seem the cause for audience and critics not being too enthusiast this time, no matter Tarantino is considered a genius, he wasn’t able to balance dialogue and action, specially the first story is not very dynamic and seems longer due to so much nonsense chatting among the girls, sometimes you get bored. You can say girls love chatting and this is the way we are, but not for a movie, specially when you are waiting for some action, blood and fights the director is accustomed to include in extent in his footage.

I must admit that, thanks to such long chats and stupid teenage dialogues the turning point seems more effective, a masterpiece I dare to say, it’s amazing how the fun ends so tragic, and the several takes from different angles used for the car crash are absolutely delicious.

Second story is more dynamic and more fun, you can enjoy a baby doll cheerleader posing just for men’s sake, but also you have smart warrior girls such as Zoe and Tracie, in my opinion too much smart and with  too male attitudes. What was Tarantino trying to achieve with this story of revenge? Maybe to remind audience of the Black Mamba? I’m sorry, but nobody can break Uma Thurman’s performance in Kill Bill.

Death Proof is not a bad movie at all, but seems you have to be in the mood for watching it or is at your risk not to get too bored or even fall asleep for action is served in small doses.  

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