Mar 1, 2009

True Romance

It is not much of a revelation to say that most action films suck and lack any thing of value in any way. That being said, the best action films are those that do a good job strictly attempting to entertain the audience. Hollywood hack Tony Scott is most notorious for his laughably horrible air force propaganda film Top Gun. I don’t have much respect for Scott as a director. Maybe Tony Scott should have taken some cues from his brother Ridley (Blade Runner, Alien) who is a much better studio director. I doubt anyone would ever call Tony Scott an “Artist” so I go into his films knowing not to expect anything resembling culture. Scott, however, did direct one highly entertaining film known as True Romance written by a young and somewhat less arrogant Quentin Tarantino.

I believe that Quentin Tarantino’s greatest contribution to film is his writing for True Romance. Sure the story is sleazy trash but it is highly entertaining and well written trash. What other film do you find a Negro cop yelling “wop?!” What other film do you find a coked up Jewish Hollywood producer in the middle of a big deadly drug deal? True Romance is a script written in bad taste full of hilarious racial stereotypes and lacking the “nigga is cool” feel of the films directed by Quentin Tarantino. I also believe that the True Romance story may be Tarantino’s most personal piece of writing. I mean come on, a loser fan boy’s life turns into the plot like five action genre films in one.

Walken the Wop?

My favorite scene in True Romance involves a dialogue between Dennis Hopper (who plays a cop) and Christopher Walken (who plays a Sicilian mafia leader). In this highly offensive scene, Hopper explains that Sicilians are “spawned from niggers.” I found this writing from Tarantino interesting as he is a “man” of Italian descent. Tarantino’s Italian-American father left him a bastard so maybe this anti-Italian scene is a little payback to his neglecting padre? Either way, not even Spike Lee, the man who directed the Italian-American exploitation film Summer of Sam, could have made a more derogatory scene against Sicilians. Quentin Tarantino has even stated that the Sicilian scene is one of his proudest moments. Tarantino stated "I had heard that whole speech about the Sicilians a long time ago, from a black guy living in my house. One day I was talking with a friend who was Sicilian and I just started telling that speech." Tarantino then realized, “Wow, that is a great scene, I gotta remember that.”

The Sicilian Scene

True Romance
also features an “all-star cast” of sorts. A stoner Brad Pitt takes bong hits on a couch he seems to be glued to just as philistine Jew Michael Rapaport seems half retarded. A young and somewhat slim James “Tony Soprano” Gandolfini also makes an appearance in True Romance as a sadistic mafia hit man. One also cannot forget about a young and naked Patricia Arquette playing a dirty prostitute love interest. I also found Gary Oldman’s role as a wigger-rasta-wannabe to be quite amazing.

Like most action flicks, True Romance features a disgustingly horrible soundtrack that is dated to say the least. Whether it be the lame tunes by Aerosmith or the fruity score by Hans Zimmer, I felt my ears looking for mercy throughout the film. One also can get tired of Christian Slater’s annoying voice which reminds me of some low ranking drug dealing swindler. With all the horrible noise in True Romance, I would have even preferred an Elvis Presley (someone I have no interest in) soundtrack sung by Val Kilmer. Kilmer did a swell job portraying and singing as Jim Morrison in Oliver Stones The Doors.

Is True Romance a film written by a lonely romantic by the name of Quentin Tarantino? Is True Romance an ideal fantasy of Tarantino’s ultimate “True Romance?” Something tells me this is true and that True Romance, despite only being written by Tarantino, is his most intimate film. For a man so obsessed with film, I have always thought that Quentin Tarantino has horrible taste in film. It is evident that Tarantino is mainly into “escapist” cinema so it is no surprise that the story to True Romance would be a somewhat personal one.

-Ty E


Soiled Sinema said...

Good point with the "pre-arrogance" comment on Tarantino's persona. It would appear that before Tarantino decided to actually rip off his films, he used to give out a much appreciated nod to his favorites: for instance - Slater's undying love for old Sonny Chiba films. Him and I aren't that far apart except he's been copy/pasted into a film bearing a resemblance to Last Action Hero but with more wops.

I prefer when Tarantino just recognized his favorites for outstanding achievements. Now he's just gone too far. Some with Kevin Smith and his Star Wars humor. It was cute at first but once he got copyright and licensing ideals, he became a huge Star Wars sell out looking for another scene in which he can meticulously insert a Boba Fett phallic lazer joke. Ugh.


thebonebreaker said...

One of my personal favorites!
I could watch this one anytime. . .

Excellent Review TyE!

Keith said...

I really love this film. Great write-up on it.

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jervaise brooke hamster said...

I want to bugger Patricia Arquette (as she was in 1986 when she was 18, not as she is now obviously). By the way, Tony Scott and Gary Oldman are both worthless piles of rancid dog-shit specifically because they are British and Christian Slater and Quentin Tarantino are both piles of garbage simply because they exist.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Christopher Walken is a pile of shit.