"If you gave me a million years to ponder, I would never have guessed that true romance and Detroit would ever go together."
I would never have guessed that Tony Scott and Quentin Tarantino would ever go together, but what a pleasant surprise this romantic crime thriller turned out to be. Thanks to a sharp and witty script and entertaining characters True Romance was extremely cool. The best way I can describe this film is to take Patricia Arquette's character's words and sound like a broken record: all I could think of while watching this film was Quentin Tarantino you are so cool; Tony Scott you are so cool; every single actor in this film you are so cool, True Romance you are so cool. I can't believe I had to wait 21 years to get around to watching this considering how big of a Quentin Tarantino fan I am (and I'm also a huge fan of Tony Scott's work in Man on Fire). Tarantino's energetic script and Scott's stylized direction blended perfectly in this near masterpiece. The cast is absolutely brilliant here and there are so many memorable characters and scenes in this film. I think I enjoyed this film more watching it for the first time now than if I would have seen it in 1993 considering there are so many familiar faces that I probably wouldn't have recognized back then. Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson, James Gandolfini, and Chris Penn all have small but memorable roles. Oldman is barely recognizable playing a pimp with dreadlocks and a glass eye, but it is a unique performance. Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette give the performance of their careers here; it's a shame Slater has been in so many terrible films in the past decade because his performance here was promising. Arquette is adorable as Alabama and I can't think of another sweeter performance than hers. There is so much energy and charm in this film that it's hard to resist. Like good wine, True Romance will probably age better over time considering I couldn't believe how much fun I was having watching an early 90's film for the first time. True Romance you are so cool!
Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) is a comic book store clerk who also happens to be a martial arts film buff. He plans to spend his birthday as he always does, at the movies, watching a triple feature of Sonny Chiba. What he doesn't expect is that he will find the love of his life there. While he is watching the film, a pretty woman walks into the theater spilling her popcorn all over him. She apologizes and introduces herself as Alabama (Patricia Arquette). The two fall in love with each other after she opens up to him about her true identity. This leads them through a series of dangerous adventures involving pimps (Gary Oldman), the Sicilian mafia (Christopher Walken, James Gandolfini), drug dealers (Samuel L. Jackson), police officials (Chris Penn, Tom Sizemore), and Hollywood producers (Saul Rubinek, Bronson Pinchot). The film is full of energy and thrills as the two lovers face several obstacles along the way. Thankfully, Clarence seems to have a mentor on his side to guide him: an apparition of his idol Elvis Presley (Val Kilmer) who is sort of his conscious.
Even if you aren't a huge fan of Tarantino you could still enjoy True Romance for all the beloved actors in this film that weren't probably big Hollywood names back then. The film moves so quickly and the script is so energetic that It makes for a very entertaining watch. There are so many memorable scenes in this film, like the face off between Gary Oldman and Christian Slater, the group mexican standoff, and the violent hotel scene involving Gandolfini and Arquette, but the real scene stealer would have to be the one in which Dennis Hopper, who plays Clarence's father, is ambushed by Christopher Walken and his gang and they have a not so friendly chat about Sicilians. It was a pure Tarantino moment and there are a lot of these great dialogues that allow for the film to have such a great pace and move along so nicely. The style and characters in this film make it such a unique experience and film lovers will enjoy the Hollywood satire as well. I am so glad I finally got to see this wild and romantic film. This is another reason why Tony Scott will be missed.