I watched Kill Bill: Vol.2 on television last night, and although I enjoyed it to the point I didn’t go channel surfing like I normally do when I watch TV late at night by myself…it’s still seriously flawed. I haven’t seen it since eagerly cueing up at my local multiplex several years ago after absolutely adoring Kill Bill Vol.1.
Yet Quentin Tarantino has to be one of the most hit and miss directors to ever reach mainstream stardom, and although Pulp Fiction remains my all time favourite movie, everything else he has done (Kill Bill Vol.1 aside) is patchy as hell. Ok, Jackie Brown had a good story, but thats more down to Elmore Leonard than anyone else, and its still desperately in need of an editor, as its over-long and stylised when it needs no heavy style, and the characters are mostly unlikable…including Samuel L. Jackson’s small time arms dealer. Tutt tutt. Then look at Kill Bill Vol.2, following up Tarantino’s superb return to form after ‘Brown and is once again over-long, peppered with ridiculous, unintentionally funny dialogue and an ending that pretty much destroys the whole point of the movie. Grr.
Then look to his latest, Death Proof, a poorly acted, ridiculously dialogued movie with a promising, scary first half and a stupid second half. Now what Tarantino has learnt over the years is film technique – he can frame a shot and use camera work and editing well when given the right material – and he can do action as good as the best of ’em, but he remains self-indulgent and a bit of a geek, needing as I have said once before on this site, to quit wallowing in his boyhood fantasies, ditch the foot fetishes, the comic book, pop-culture referrences and take a leaf out of Paul Thomas Anderson’s book (Magnolia, Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood) and start making real movies.
Come on Quentin, you have the ability – you can do it…and finally get that credibility that the likes of Scorsese and Spielberg have had for decades! Somehow I don’t see Inglorious Bastards doing it.