Review: Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc One: Feature length commentary
by Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette; Feature length commentary
by director Tony Scott; Feature length commentary by writer Quentin
Tarantino; Innovative storyboard track allows you to access the
directors storyboards while watching the film; Web-enabled
screenplay viewer with storyboards, original production notes
and web links.
Disc Two: 30 minutes of deleted scenes with optional director
commentary; Selective commentaries with Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer,
Brad Pitt and Michael Rapaport; Vintage 1993 production featurette;
Interactive behind-the-scenes featurette; Animated photo gallery;
THE Quentin Tarantino success story really went into overdrive
with the release of True Romance, Tony Scott's highly-stylized,
but ultra-violent, take on the former video store clerk's screenplay,
which was sandwiched between Reservoir
Dogs and Pulp Fiction.
Boasting a stellar cast, some all-time great moments, and masses
of attitude, this is the crime thriller at its most outlandish;
an in-yer-face thrill-ride through Hollywood wish-fulfilment which
arguably rates as Tarantino's finest screen translation to date.
In terms of enjoyment, this is popcorn entertainment at its bloodiest,
yet it contains a sweetness throughout that really makes its characters
worth rooting for; even when they are committing some appalling
acts in the name of happiness.
Christian Slater stars as comic-store assistant, Clarence, who
falls in love with novice hooker, Alabama (Patricia Arquette),
after one night together and immediately kills her pimp (Gary
Oldman) in a bid to free her from a life of vice. But having accidentally
stolen some cocaine, the lovers flee to California in a bid to
sell the drugs and get-rich-quick, without counting on the slain
pimp's associates picking up their trail.
The plot, itself, may not seem that original, but the execution
sure is. Aside from the engaging performances from its central
pairing, True Romance boasts a number of cracking cameos from
the likes of Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, James Gandolfini,
Brad Pitt, and Val Kilmer and enough fucked-up scenarios to make
your head spin.
Principal among them is the gloriously twisted torture sequence
involving Walken's suave Mob boss, Coccotti, and Slater's honourable
father, Clifford (Hopper), as the two discuss Sicilian blood lines
to the strains of some classical music, while attempting to find
the whereabouts of the lovers.
While equally as memorable is Gandolfini's violent encounter
with Alabama in a motel room, which although punctuated by some
appalling acts of brutality throughout, remains a compelling movie
moment that looks destined for 'classic' status.
The final Mexican stand-off, between cops, robbers, movie producers
and lovers, is another cinematic masterpiece (which was replicated
by Scott in Enemy of the State), and one which brings proceedings
to a suitably OTT finale.
Needless to say, the director's cut is more violent and foul-mouthed
than ever before, offering little extra in the way of characterisation,
but it should appeal to the Tarantino fanbase who get their kicks
from seeing how far he can push cinematic boundaries in the mainstream.
For as its central protagonist maintains throughout, this is
all about 'living fast, dying young and leaving a good looking
corpse' - and who better to fit that criteria, than Mr Scott?