The Game Plan

Starring Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell and Rosario Dawson. Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Running Time: 113 minutes
Rated: Rated MA 15+ (strong violence, coarse language and sexual references)

Originally one half of a film combining two genre movies in one (with fake trailers etc): Grindhouse. However, the film did not work at the US box-office. The decision was made to release the two films separately around the world and Quentin Tarantino's half, Death Proof, was in competition in Cannes, with Robert Rodriguez's half, Alien Planet, scheduled for Venice.

Tarantino's intention was to imitate the brief road chase and threat movie, even to the scratched film stock and jump cuts in editing, damage after the film had been shown at drive-ins for some months. This is amusing - but one realises that Tarantino had lots of money to make Death Proof and that it may have made for a better, tighter film to have worked on a smaller Roger Corman type budget. (More than twenty minutes of footage were added to the Grindhouse version for the new release

Death Proof is a very ugly film. The characters are, humanly speaking, ugly as is their behaviour. They talk in an ugly way (which is a pity because Tarantino had a reputation for smart dialogue, interesting chatter on any subject - this time it just inane and crass).

Basically, two groups of women are pursued in their cars by a deranged stuntman (Kurt Russell). He demolishes one lot (admittedly the less interesting and likeable group) and is demolished by the other (which includes Zoe Bell as herself, the New Zealand stuntwoman who was Uma Thurman's stand in for the Kill Bill films doing her rather spectacular thing).

There are much better things that Tarantino could have been doing with his time, energy and money.

Village Roadshow.Out 1st November

Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.

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