The reason I'm sick of all these "Pulp Fiction" rip-offs is not because I find the approach or the format inherently offensive. Rather, what irks me is that the wannabes directing them try to capture the spirit of the hip noir film, but lend not a thought to what they're trying to accomplish beyond that. Their lone goal is simply to be quirky enough to distract the audience into constantly wondering "what in the hell is that guy thinking?" or "why in the hell is he doing that instead of working at Taco Bell?"
Here's an example found early in this film: Jerry (Brad Pitt) and Samantha (Julia Roberts) are boyfriend/girlfriend, and Samantha is tossing Jerry out of the apartment because he won't commit emotionally to their relationship. Samantha's definition of "won't commit emotionally" is that Jerry is going to Mexico to find a gun for a mob guy. Why does he have to do this? The guy will kill Jerry if he doesn't.
One is forced to presume that Jerry at some point had a conversation with Samantha explaining his predicament and the consequences of eschewing this errand in favor of going to Vegas with Samantha. One is then forced to conclude that Samantha's answer to Jerry's "I'll be killed" explanation was, "Don't be selfish." That's what she said. It has to be. Now, why did Jerry not instantly conclude that he was dating a PSYCHO BITCH FROM HELL and get out of there? Why? Because Jerry is so whipped he'd make good topping for Jello. And yeah, that's believable -- Brad Pitt whipped by Julia Roberts. Sure. Whatever.
So now that we have a film based on a completely stupid premise, the pressure's off and everything that follows can be quirkier than Ross Perot on acid because -- hey! -- the whole universe is quirky. Thus, homosexual hitmen and stray dogs emotionally attached to flat footballs are de rigueur. The film also rips off "Pulp Fiction's" cartoonish take on violence in that violent acts are presented as humorous so there's never any real threat to the main characters. The result: we don't care about the characters because there's no actual danger in the world they live in. They are fated to work things out in a timely fashion. If a happy ending is inevitable, what's the point in watching the film in the first place?
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