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A cut above the rest
True Romance: Director's Cut (DVD)
Member Name: nakedchoke
True Romance: Director's Cut (DVD)
Date: 18/10/02, updated on 18/10/02 (247 review reads)
Advantages: superb acting, all-star cast, believable, engrossing
Disadvantages: weak plot
Normally I'm not a fan of the crime/gangster thriller movie like this one unless of course they are very good. Normally I go more for a comedy but this being a Tarantino movie there is some dark humour in there amongst all the swearing and violence. Of course it's got romance but it's unlike your usual mushy affair and does put a twist on the normal romantic clichéd formula. For the most part I enjoyed this movie but found it often quite violent and over the top. Plus it's a simple plot that has been done many times. Basically someone annoys some hard people by stealing something and they go after them to get back what is rightfully theirs.
I'm not saying it's a bad movie by no means as in fact it's excellent throughout and kept me wanting to watch if further unlike some. It's just I know some people reading this aren't going to like the sometimes violent nature. Swearing is constant throughout but it's bearable and like usual you get used to it after a while.
So the story starts on the birthday of one half of the lead role. Clarence is a guy working in a comic book store. He doesn't really get out much is slightly obsessed with Elvis. He meets a girl in the cinema and they get on real well and a passionate night follows etcetera. Of course not everything is how it appears as you soon find out. Here you get to see the funny and cool character Clarence plays through the excellent performance by Christian Slater. He manages to deliver lines perfectly with a dry wit and is a very believable actor and often overlooked as a great.
Alabama (Patricia Arquette) is a call girl but leaves the job after falling for Clarence after said night. Clarence finds out about Alabama's past and it cant stop playing on his mind about her violent pimp so he goes to get her stuff and to kill him in the process. This is where the rest of the movie begins so I won't give too much away even though it's tempti
ng with the amount of stuff to talk about.
Throughout the movie it's clear this is a well-written piece and the dialogue is often quite heavy but clever like many films involving Quentin Tarantino. There is an underlying theme of the love and bond between the two main stars all the way to the end. Elvis features heavily, well not the Elvis. Some of the funniest moments are the ones featuring Brad Pitt as a complete stoner named Floyd.
Dennis Hopper plays the part of Clarence's father Clifford and is utterly superb and his experience and quality shine through. At this point Christopher Walken makes an appearance as bad boy Vincenzo. What follows is one of my favourite scenes in any movie and I'm sure most of you will appreciate it. Dennis Hopper is totally convincing as a guy that has already come to terms with the inevitable so tries to have one last laugh. It's very tense and makes great viewing.
Toward the end you encounter one of the best stand off scenes and one to rival or possibly better Reservoir Dogs. It's a fitting finale to what was an enjoyable action packed few hours. Of course this being a romantic movie everything works out in the end and everyone, well not everyone, lives happily ever after.
So what didn't I like about it? Well the story was hardly original and is a plot a child could come up with. However it saves itself by delivering it so well and having a story at all. At the beginning there is a narrative from one of the main characters so its obvious they are going to live through whatever comes their way during the rest of the film. Also Gary Oldman who of course plays a bad ass is slightly underused but this is probably down to his phoney accent. So just a few little things and nothing is fundamentally wrong, at least nothing to make it a bad-viewing experience.
It seems the director Tony Scott went all out with an all-star cast in a relatively unknown movie. Everyone is
ellent and the whole thing is professional and there aren't any problems with angles, actor's lines or the kind of stuff you expect to notice as a little shabby in budget movies. Val Kilmer is in it but you will find it hard to work out whom he plays because you don't ever get to see him.
So to sum up it's an enjoyable movie with a weak storyline saved by some intelligent script, top-notch acting and an added bonus of humour. True Romance elevates itself above your average Saturday night action movie. I'm glad I bought this even though my main reason was I had seen it before and it was going cheap on DVD as I sure did enjoy it once again and it's a good addition to my collection. Unfortunately the DVD format hasn't really added anything to this in any way apart from the expected scene selection.