© Senator/Central

Death Proof - Todsicher
U.S.A. 2007

Opening 19 Jul 2007

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Writing credits: Quentin Tarantino
Principal actors: Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Jordan Ladd, Rose McGowan

As a tribute to 1970s schlock horror movies, director Quentin Tarantino’s latest offering is not bad but the fantastic dialogue, good actors (Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Vanessa Ferlito, Tracie Thoms, Rosario Dawson, and Zoë Bell), great soundtrack and kickass driving sequences don’t justify the hype. The film is a “girls slumber party” comedy, albeit one with cars instead of sleeping bags. Specifically, Death Proof is a tale of two road trips gone wrong. Part One introduces us to hot and easy chicks tooling around Austin in a red Honda. While gearing up for a weekend at the lake, the girls dance, drink, and swap intimate details. All is well until they meet Stuntman Mike. Kurt Russell is terrific as the archetypal loner/avenging cowboy, albeit a teetotaler with a penchant for murdering women with what he calls “mom’s car”. In Part Two Mike is still doing what he likes best, but this time he gets his comeuppance. Instead of targeting a drunken posse, he zeroes in on four women from the entertainment industry, i.e. women not girls, including two fast-talking stuntwomen, a makeup artist and a model. This time the girls use their car, guns and wits to terminate Stuntman Mike. The final drive to the death was furious and fun. However, even in this comedy, there is no escape from the world we live in. The aria of dismemberment that closes the film’s first vignette calls to mind the work of suicide bombers and exploding mines we read about everyday. Can Mr. Tarantino be telling us that even in the U.S., distorted self-righteousness kills? (Rita Pearson Schwandt)

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