Would you believe if I told you that I first watched this movie in 2020? Tarantino was one of my favorite directors when I was younger. And I can clearly remember how I bored everyone with Pulp Fiction, From Dusk Till Dawn and Jackie Brown. However, I found his two early movies Natural Born Killers and Four Rooms a bit incoherent and too on-the-nose. Influenced by this, I simply skipped watching True Romance for almost twenty years. The only reason I watched it now is that after being blown away by Romeo Is Bleeding, I needed something similar. I even forgot that he wrote the script and that this is his first movie. 

Directed by Tony Scott (Top Gun, The Last Boy Scout, Enemy of the State, Man on Fire) and written by you-know-who, this is a pure nineties extravaganza. It’s filled with violence, racial slurs, crime, sex, drugs and all the other fun stuff. This being Tarantino’s first script you can clearly see that he poured his heart into it. He was that guy who was watching movies all the time in the theater, as he was working there. Possibly dreaming about a sexy damsel in distress walking through the theater doors. In the DVD commentary, Quentin Tarantino admits that this is the most autobiographical movie he has ever made. It’s a variation of a classic Bonnie and Clyde story, with a nineties twists.

Meet Clarence Worley, just an average Elvis-loving, kung-fu movie fan who works in a comic book shop. On his birthday he goes to a movie theater to catch The Streetfighter marathon not knowing that something that will change his life completely will happen there. He meets Alabama, a very handsome and carefree girl who immediately falls for him. And this where the romance starts…

You play the movie and your jaw drops upon watching the cast. There are only a couple of relatively unknown actors here, the rest of them are all heavy-hitters in various stages of their careers. From young Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and Brad Pitt to old-timers Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper, it would seem that everybody knew they were involved in something special. Fucking 200.000 votes and a rating of 7.9 on IMDb confirm that notion.

Young adult Christian Slater, best known as the teenage star of the eighties coupled with beautiful Patricia Arquette exploded with their chemistry all over the screen. Two of them were anchors in this entertaining and thrilling ride that lasts exactly two hours. Over-the-top action and plot-twists kept the movie entertaining and with this cheerful vibe. There are so many iconic scenes that it would be easier to recount the transitional ones. True Romance has everything you would want in a movie.

And it doesn’t come off as horrible mess, a testament to the talent of everybody involved. All of them were working from Tarantino’s script, 500-page script that he wrote in several weeks. One of the best things in it were the dialogues filled with witty remarks and gritty but entertaining exchanges between these larger than life characters. You can clearly feel that this isn’t some commercial movie but a passion project just from that.

It takes time to develop characters, with their strange motivations, hobbies and everything else. And finally, I have to say that it stood the test of time and that it’s still entertaining as fuck in 2020. So, if you’re a fan of Tarantino or movies like this, it’s a fucking must-see. Enjoy.

Director: Tony Scott

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, James Gandolfini, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, Bronson Pinchot, Michael Rapaport

Fun Facts: Although this movie was not directed by Quentin Tarantino, it is still considered part of the Tarantino universe. The first clue to this is Lee Donowitz, the grandson of Sergeant Donnie Donowitz from Inglourious Basterds (2009) (confirmed by Tarantino). The second piece of evidence is the fact that Mr. White in Reservoir Dogs (1992) mentions working with a girl named “Alabama”.

Rating:

IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108399/

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