So now we come to Death Proof, which is the film with the illustrious reputation of being the worst Tarantino film. I agree. Not so much because it’s poorly made or anything, but because it literally has no point, or at least not one of any substance. Basically, psychopath chases girls, girls get revenge. That’s it. That said, this is still Tarantino and it’s still a pretty fun movie. I enjoyed myself, I really liked the soundtrack, but it wasn’t mind blowing or anything. I feel like that’s what he set out to accomplish though, just a fun movie in a Tarantino-seventies kind of style. If it went on any longer than it did (it was two hours) I would have been thinking it was self-indulgent nonsense, and I suppose it still is, but it’s not overly self-indulgent nonsense. In short, though it’s the worst Tarantino film, I still liked it well enough.
This film is kind of interesting in how it’s set up because basically we go through psychopath’s evil nefarious cycle twice. First he stalks four women to a bar and kills them with his car, then he stalks four more but he doesn’t manage to kill them. The psychopath in question is Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), who was a stuntman on a bunch of old tv shows that I’ve never heard of. His MO is basically to stalk women who happen to be travelling together and then run over them with his “death proof” car (hence the title). This was the car he used for stunts, so it’s reinforced and everything for safety. Of course that makes it dangerous for everyone else. If other women present themselves to be killed, it’s totally fine. He doesn’t have to stalk all of them.
So first he stalks a group of women going to a lake for the weekend or something. One of them is a radio DJ so she’s kind of famous and has billboards everywhere. They all go to a bar before they leave, which has Tarantino as the bartender (character’s name is Warren) and two members of the Inglourious Basterds, one being Eli Roth. I don’t know what their character’s names were, but they weren’t that important anyway other than that the actors were in Inglourious Basterds so I thought I’d mention them. They all just kind of hang out in the bar for awhile, but when they leave you better watch out. Stuntman Mike gives another woman a ride home, but actually ends up crashing her head on the windshield of his car. Then he goes after the women who he was originally stalking and crashes into them as well. Tarantino goes crazy with the brutality of it of course, with body parts flying everywhere and slow motion. It was pretty cool, actually. Gross, but cool.
Some cops (pretty sure they’re the same ones from Kill Bill) appraise the situation. Stuntman Mike is in the hospital and is considered the victim by most. He’s sober, the dead girls have alcohol in their blood, but the cops think there’s something fishy. However, because they think they’ll never be able to prove that Stuntman Mike actually murdered them, they don’t even try. It’s kind of a funny scene, but pretty depressing once you think about it. Those lazy law enforcement professionals. Now we go to the next group of women, who are going to be way harder to kill since two of them are stuntwomen themselves.
Kim (Tracie Thom) and Zoe (Zoe Bell) are the stuntwomen, Abernathy (Rosario Dawson) is like a make-up artist or something, and Lee (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is an actress. They’re all working on the same movie. Zoe is from New Zealand, and apparently they don’t have satisfactory motor vehicles down there. So she comes up with a plan to test drive a car that was the same kind of car used in some old movie Tarantino likes. Then, because they’re stunt people, she decides to ride on the hood of it, and guess who comes along? None other than Stuntman Mike, who has been stalking them for awhile now.
The rest of the movie is basically a giant car chase. At first, Stuntman Mike is chasing the girls, but then they start chasing him. And shooting him. And punching him. And beating him with a pipe. You get the idea. That’s basically the whole film. There aren’t really any huge themes to mine from this thing, but it is a pretty fun time. I really liked the soundtrack in this one. I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but it just might be. The characters were kind of lackluster overall, but Stuntman Mike was okay and Zoe was awesome. She was so cute, but of course she was a stuntwoman so she was all tough and everything too. I mean, she gets thrown off the hood of a car and is totally fine. She just pops up out of the bushes like nothing happened. Unrealistic, but awesome. She also had a cool accent.
So all in all, Death Proof was pretty fun but also pretty pointless. Which is fine, because it’s also fun. It’s no where near the quality of Tarantino’s other films, but whatever. I wasn’t expecting it to be. It’s well known that this is the worst Tarantino film, so I was prepared. As such it was about what I expected so I wasn’t disappointed. Most importantly, it marks the end of my Tarantino quest! I have now seen all of his films! Now I can go crazy with ranking everything; it’ll be so much fun. I’m really excited if you can’t tell. And Tarantino Tuesday technically isn’t over because I’m going to watch True Romance next week, which he wrote and I’m pretty excited to watch. So it’s over, but not really. It’s almost over though, I promise.
Long story short: 2.5/4 stars