WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Stunt Man Mike’s (Kurt Russell) name doesn’t quite go all the way to describing what he does.
Murderous Stalker Mike might be a more accurate moniker for this ruthless stunt-driver who picks up women in bars, locks them in the seat-less passenger-area of his car and speeds around, pummelling their heads against the car frame until they die.
But when he picks on the wrong group of women – stunt-women themselves – the death-proof cabin in the front of his car offers him none of the protection he’d normally expect.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
This was meant to be the first half of the “Grindhouse” double-bill (with Robert Rodriguez’ Planet Terror), harking back to the fleapit exploitation movies of the seventies.
American audiences couldn’t handle the three-hour-plus running time, so the Weinstein’s caved to the inevitable and split the films up for the UK release – but not before adding half an hour to the running time of Death Proof.
If to you, Tarantino means violence, snappy dialogue (where every character speaks like the director), nods and winks to classic (and not so classic movies) and a little more style than substance, then this will meet your expectations down to the tiniest detail.
Striving for authenticity in the genre, he adds scratches to the film and crackles to the soundtrack, while removing the colour completely for one segment.
There’s very little plot – guy hunts girls, different girls hunt guy – and the snappy dialogue isn’t interesting enough to make us care about any of the characters – differing on both counts from his far superior films, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown.
This is overlong (maybe they should’ve left it at the Grindhouse length), there’s far too much talking – and even if it has some thrilling car chases, it’s little more than an exercise for Tarantino.
Let’s hope that now he’s got this out of his system, he can get back to the kind of films that helped him make his name in the 1990s.