True Romance

Bomb Rating: 

Christian Slater is obviously Tarantino, sitting in that video store before he got famous, imagining what it would be like to be transformed from a loser into a movie star.

Welcome to Quentin's world. Yes, that's right: This is a Tony ("TopGun") Scott film from a Quentin Tarantino script and if you ever wanted to see inside Quentin's head, this is an excellent opportunity. This isn't really a movie; it's QT's personal therapy session.

Christian Slater is obviously Tarantino, sitting in that video store before he got famous, imagining what it would be like to be transformed from a loser into a movie star. Of course, Quentin's in disguise since the main character, Clarence (Slater), works in a comic book store -- a couple notches down the geek food chain. Playing "what if I had a girlfriend," Tarantino invents Alabama (Patricia Arquette), who has a great time with Clarence after they see some Sonny Chiba movies together.

Had Clarence not decided to avenge Alabama's call girl ways by going to see her pimp, Drexel (Gary Oldman), there wouldn't have been much of a movie, but he does, and we get to see another side of Tarantino -- the white guy who thinks he's a black guy. Clarence's encounter with Drexel propels him from Detroit to L.A., where he meets up with an old friend, Dick Ritchie (Michael Rapaport), who represents yet another aspect of Tarantino -- that of the really horrible actor.

In typical Tarantino fashion, "True Romance" is comprised of violence and cameos. Collectively, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer, Dennis Hopper and Brad Pitt are in the movie for about two minutes total. Also in typical Tarantino fashion, every guy with a gun who's going to do something bad must first deliver some rambling speech longer than most acts of "Hamlet." Quicker than you can say "verbose Bond villian," this results in the person with the gun having something bad done to him first. In the real world, bad people just do the bad thing and get on with their day. Tarantino's bad people talk so much you're soon cringing at their nonsensical soliloquies as much as at their violent acts.

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