True Romance

Dir: Tony Scott, 1993. Starring: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken. Action.
True Romance

True Romance is the story of a young down-on-their-luck couple who comes across a suitcase full of cocaine and makes their way across America to sell it in Hollywood. As they do so a colorful group of cops and criminals hunt them down.

Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill) wrote the film with un-credited voiceover by his Pulp Fiction co-author, Roger Avery (Killing Zoe). As with all of Tarantino’s scripts, the story is filled with unique characters, explosive action, and very memorable dialogue.

Tony Scott (Spy Game) directs this cross-country-crime-romance with such flavor and style that there are beautiful moments throughout. The film has a kinetic energy that is infectius and undeniably entertaining. From the first moments of young love blossoming on streets of Detroit, all the way to the blaze of glory Mexican standoff at a Beverly Hills hotel, Scott directs with a confident vision that never lets up on its momentum.

Christian Slater (Heathers) and Patricia Arquette (Flirting with Disaster) play the love struck kids with big dreams of living out their lives together on some faraway beach oasis. Slater is manic as “Clarence Worley,” but as affection to his bride as a newborn puppy. Arquette is sexy and strong as the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold, “Alabama Whitman.”

In just two scenes, Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) may very well steal the film as the unrecognizable flesh peddling drug dealer, “Drexel Spivey.” He defines the term “bottom feeder” with this iconic turn. Christopher Walken (Basquiat) and Dennis Hopper (Blue Velvet) share one of the most famous high-tension interrogations in any film—commonly known as the “eggplant scene.” As a tough-as-nails mob boss, Walken grills Hopper about the whereabouts of his son and his prostitute bride. The response he gets from the trailer park security card is timeless and not easily forgotten.

Tom Sizemore (Heat) and Chris Penn (At Close Range) are comical as two gung-ho detectives. James Gandolfini lays the groundwork for his “Tony Soprano” character as “Virgil”-- a sociopath “button man” for the Mafia. As Clarence’s childhood friend “Ritchie,” Michael Rappaport (Copland) is charmingly befuddled. Saul Rubineck (Unforgiven) is delightfully scummy as a big wig Hollywood producer and Bronson Pinchot (Beverly Hills Cop) is perfectly cast as his spineless assistant.

Brad Pitt (Fight Club) followed his big splash debut in Thelma & Louise playing “Floyd”—an utterly useless pothead who spends his days watching bad cable and burning herb. And make sure to watch for Val Kilmer (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) as the ghost of Elvis who advises Clarence when the chips are down.

Composer Hans Zimmer provides a score that mirrors the similarities of the screenplay to Terrence Malick’s lovers-on-the-lamb tale, Badlands, by using that film’s music as the diving board for his own work.

At the end of the day, the talents of Tony Scott and Tarantino are perfectly showcased in this bloody story of love about all else. Using arguably the best cast in any action film, Scott delivers a shoot-‘em-up with a huge heart and many darkly funny moments.

Posted by:
Seamus Smith
Feb 23, 2009 6:15pm
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