Action, Crime, Drama
Director: Tony Scott
Starring: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper
For Fans Of: Pulp Fiction, Top Gun, Drive
My Rating: 9 out of 10
Sometimes I dream of films involving my favourite people and then think, "yeah but, you will never get all of these people together for one film". In fact even when you do it sometimes ends up being over-hyped and bullshit. When I saw the name of this film (Classic phrase alert: Never judge a book by its cover) I thought it was likely to be the type of film that would be pleasant to watch on a Sunday whilst suffering from a hangover. So with expectations low, I press play, sit back and wait to be mundanely driven to the end, where waiting for me will be the cheesy-as-sin bit where the two lovers kiss and make up after whatever bullshit happened in their romance in the middle of the movie.
All the above, I can happily say, I got absolutely 100% wrong! WHAT A FILM THIS IS! Now I don't like spoilers in reviews so let me break this down step by step. Without revealing too much and if you haven’t already, stop what you are doing and get this movie watched tonight. I never like reading about a movie before I watch it and it's these type of movies that make me do that. I knew nothing about it other than the title, so I also had no knowledge on who wrote it, who directed it, what genre it is and who starred in it. But if you'd like a bit more information before selecting your movies, then brace yourself. I am about to bake you the most delicious cake and by god you are going to eat it.
Lets start with the foundations shall we? The director is Tony Scott. For those who don't know, this is the director responsible for Top Gun, Man of Fire and the Taking of Pelham 123. The writer of the film is Quentin Tarantino who you may have heard of from such classics as Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown. Suddenly my estimate of this being some bullshit, soppy romance movie seems way off. I strap myself in for some tasty action instead. Excitement levels begin to rise.
So onto the cast. First lets focus on the main characters. It stars Christian Slater as Clarence, a comic book store assistant, who likes kung fu movies and Elvis. He lives in Detroit and seems to be a fairly nice guy, simply looking for a cool chick to spend some time with. This is easily the best thing I have seen Christian Slater in by the way. You warm to him immediately and effectively he lives out every nerd's dream of going to a cinema, before being approached and ultimately seduced by a sexy and fun girl who shares all of his interests. In this instance that girl is Alabama, played by Patricia Arquette. A call girl, who after falling in love with Clarence, wants out of that business. It's a whirlwind romance which is played so sincerely that you root for them from the off, even around all the madness that occurs later on. This is their story of escaping Alabama’s former life so they can live happily ever after. Awwww maybe this still is a Sunday romance movie after all.
The supporting cast is where we get truly spoilt. We have Samuel L Jackson in his typical cool as fuck gangster role, Gary Oldman in a very untypical wigga pimp role, who also looks to have taken his appearance inspiration from Keith Richards as it is uncannily similar to Depp’s Jack Sparrow a lá Pirates of the Caribbean. Dennis Hopper plays Clarence's father, a cop, who tries to help his son out of the bad shit he has got them into. Michael Rapaport plays Clarence’s best friend, Dick Ritchie, who also tries to aid him out of the bad shit situation. Brad Pitt plays Dick Richies stoner roommate. I struggle to think of a more likeable role I have seen Pitt in as well. Christopher Walken plays my favourite gangster of all time, his odd style just fits perfectly to this character and it helps that he shares my favourite scene of the entire movie, which features him and Hopper in a face off that is funny and brutal at the same time. James Gandolfini plays Walkens henchman, who again, shares a terrifically brutal scene with Arquette. Chris Penn plays a detective who comes into the story a little later on and again, it's another great character in a film that is just brimming full of them already.
Clearly with all these names on show this should be enough juicy ingredients to make any cake tasty. But sometimes those ingredients all together could not go well. But fortunately in this case they compliment each other perfectly. Each scene seems iconic and terrifically written and impeccably shot. The story flows so easy that time flies as you watch it and then every bit of the plot builds to a quite stunning climax. A tremendous all guns blazing action scene which has the hallmark of Tarantino all over it.
It's funny, it's romantic, it's action packed, it's exciting, it's brutal and it's even impeccably scored by the wonderful composer Hans Zimmer! The soundtrack boasts almost as many big names as the cast list; Aerosmith, Billy Idol, Soundgarden, Robert Palmer and the Big Bopper all feature as it pumps you through this already brilliant movie. Still not ready to stuff your face? Well I have saved the best ingredient till last. As this film also boasts having Val “Best Batman ever” Kilmer as an Elvis styled bad conscience. Sorry Slim Shady, I’m afraid your services are no longer required, I have someone else to do my thinking from now on. The cake is now complete, it's sat in front of you, allyou have to do is grab a spoon, ENJOY!