Monday, 8 February 2016

Death Proof (5 Stars)

The pre-title scene in "Death Proof" tells us what the film is about: cars and feet. More accurately, it's about men's cars and women's feet. In the second half of the film two women (Lee and Abernathy) agree that fast cars are a replacement for male inadequacy. That may be the case, but even if it is it's not enough. In the end the women prove that they can drive cars faster and harder.

Incidentally, if you like to use films as an excuse for drinking games, here's one you can play when you watch "Death Proof". Every time you see a woman's toes drink a shot. If you're still sober by the end of the film you must have been cheating.

Julie is a radio DJ who calls herself Jungle Julie. The film doesn't give us any examples of her music, but she certainly has beautiful feet.

Kurt Russell thinks Abernathy's feet need to be examined up close. It must be fantastic being an actor. He actually gets paid for doing that?

Arlene, also known as Butterfly, puts her foot in a dangerously close position, but Kurt doesn't complain. Whatever his inadequacies, he's smart enough to know a good thing when he sees it.

In "Death Proof" Zoe Bell doesn't just play herself in name, she really is herself. In this scene it's obvious that she isn't just making a film, she's having the time of her life. It's the dream of any stuntwoman to ride the front of a high speed car. She's riding the beast.

As everyone who has seen the film knows, it's in two parts. I like the first part, but the second part, set in Lebanon, Tennessee, is one of Quentin Tarantino's greatest achievements. The conversation between the girls (especially after Zoe's arrival) is sheer brilliance. The final car chase is the best I've ever seen. My only regret is that it doesn't last longer. The longest car chase in a film is 40 minutes, in "Gone in 60 seconds". I wish Quentin Tarantino had decided to set a new record.

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