True Romance (1993)
Genre: Action Crime Drama Romance Thriller
Starring: Christian Slater (Alone In The Dark; Heathers), Patricia Arquette (The Secret Agent; Stigmata)
Directed By: Tony Scott (Top Gun; Enemy Of The State)
Overview: Clarence falls in love and marries call-girl Alabama. When Clarence visits Alabama's pimp to go pick up her stuff, the newlyweds finds a lot more trouble than they bargained for.
Acting: Try this in one breath: Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Bronson Pinchot, Samuel L. Jackson, James Gandolfini, Chris Penn. I'm not for name dropping in film but Jesus Christ you can't help but be impressed. It's like they took every cool hip dude out there and invited them to a movie party.
Cinematography: Of all the films I've reviewed, I've made note of good or great editing in only ten, so clearly it's not something I pay that close attention to. Originally Quentin planned this to be edited like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, using his 'end at the beginning and middle at the end' style, adding an element of mystery, but producers chose the standard linear fashion. What's incredible about this is that even with a standard storyline, the editing is a staccato juxtaposition implemented so perfectly that it makes the film seem so full of action all the time while still detailing plot elements quickly. Gandolfini's big scene, the cops' interjections at the end, the moments with Brad Pitt, it's a thrill ride the whole way through, and one hell of a roller coaster scene too, what a rush.
Script: Who wrote this? None other than Quentin Tarantino, and I'm talking before the verbal diarrhea days of Kill Bill Vol. 2. The same foul-mouthed taboo dialogue as he spouted in Pulp Fiction is spouted by Dennis Hopper in this one. Look, of all films in the entire universe that I quote, this is the one I quote most often, from Bronson Pinchot's "You... You want me to suck his dick?!" to Saul Rubinek's "Don't give me the finger. I'll fucking have you killed!" and "Oooo, that's imaginative. I've got more taste in my penis..." not to mention Brad Pitt's stoner, "Don't condescend me, man. I'll fuckin' kill ya, man."
Besides being the super-coolest, hippest script you ever heard, there's also the odd occasional moment of deep introspection or oratory genius by gangsters played by Gandolfini and Walken. Alright, alright I'm gonna stop before I blow in my pants.
Plot: This movie is all over the place. You think it's just going to be a survival plot, then it turns into a vengeance plot, then you might wonder where it's going, until the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself and our cute couple decides to go all the way and risk it all, while guns and gangsters abound. If you think Quentin Tarantino writes spectacular action-filled endings, this one has those all beat. These are the times I wish I could break my spoilers rule! Oh, what drama!
Mood: Granted, seeing a film for the eighth or ninth time has a way of messing with your neurons. I call it 'Synaptic Burn-In', that feeling you get when you watch a movie you've seen a dozen times and will always love for as long as you live because you just like the way your mind remembers it so clearly like it was yesterday. I'm doing all I can to remain neutral here, but with such a conclusion, and that exhilarating rush the whole way though... and who doesn't love Christopher Walken? Overall, the mood in this one is 'cool' and 'gangbusters' all at the same time, and it's hilarious too. It's just got it all.
Overall Rating: 94% (Truly Amazing)
Aftertaste: There are so few films that I can think of that made me immediately want to run off and review it, the film so fresh and still exhilarating as I type. I hadn't really decided what my All-Time Top 10 Films were, but having seen this again made me realize it's sure on that list.