Jackie Brown Movie Review

In many ways, this is the anti-Tarantino movie.

Jackie Brown is a potboiler, and a fairly good one at that, but those looking for slam-bang Tarantino action like that seen in Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs will be disappointed, and sorely so.

Jackie is more of a mood piece than a thrill ride, with vaguely retro sets and extremely retro stars. The story's been done before: Pam Grier's title character double-crosses the cops and her boss (played to the hilt again by Jackson) and makes off with some ill-gotten cash. It's virtually the same basic story as Get Shorty, which Elmore Leonard also wrote. Forster got raves (and an Oscar nomination) for his understated bail bondsman and for good reason. Tarantino was stunned that Grier didn't receive the same praise, but considering how ham-fisted she approaches this role (and how uncomfortable she looks along the way), it's really no surprise.

Overall, the movie's fun to watch -- despite being far too long and derivative of too many other films -- but it never quite reaches the wholly-quotable peaks of Tarantino's earlier works.

Much like Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown also gets the double-disc DVD treatment this week, with a second disc of extras (though not as many as on the Pulp set). While Tarantino acknowledges the film is long enough without his deleted scenes, the Pulp Fiction references that he cut out are worth a giggle. Unfortunately, the rest of the extras don't amount to much -- for example, a "looking back" at Jackie Brown interview sports an almost wholly inaudible interviewer -- which means the interview becomes Tarantino just jabbering by himself. And we've had plenty of that already, thanks.

Double the Sam, double the fun.


Jackie Brown Rating

" Good "

Rating: R, 1997


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