Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Death Proof (2007)
(Image from IMP Awards)
Death Proof (2007)
'Death Proof' is Quentin Tarantino's half of the 'Grindhouse' double bill, with the other half being Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror. Tonally it comes across as more 'serious' than 'Planet Terror', and features a lot of the witty, verbose dialogue and character exchanges that Tarantino is famous for. The story is about a stunt man, Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russel), a serial killer who uses his specially rigged 'death proof' stunt car to kill women. Significant portions of the film are devoted to introducing Stuntman Mike's victims - in fact I'd say the majority of the film focuses on the women - who are played by a selection of luscious ladies including Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, Sydney Poitier, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and stuntwoman Zoe Bell as herself. Quentin Tarantino also has a bit part as a bartender.
The character exchanges are fun but seem to go on for a bit (this is the standalone international version, which is about 25 minutes longer than the original 'double bill' cut). I didn't much care for the semi serious tone of what is essentially meant to be a B-movie - the quality of the film is just too high for it to be a real grindhouse flick, and most of the actors are, ironically, too good in their roles. Kurt Russell is the exception, it must be said, because he seems to relish going over the top as the sadistic stuntman. Zoe Bell is also a laugh and terrific in the action scenes where she is obviously doing her own (dangerous) stunts.
Overall, it's not as fun as Planet Terror but still quite different and worth a watch, especially for fans of Tarantino's work. I'm not that big a fan of the guy to be honest, and this isn't one of his best efforts, but it's still fairly enjoyable stuff.