Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is by far the stupidest film he has created. It is as if he got high smoking his own clippings and put together the biggest waste of 2 hours and 41 minutes he could dream up.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good period piece but Tarantino seemed here to be masturbating to his own genius with the overabundance of things like movie posters, period cars, logos, wardrobe – you name it. It is one thing to put them in for authenticity. It is quite another to spend half the film focusing solely on the “cool things he included.” It was like he fanboyed himself throughout the whole boring story.
What had potential to be a really good film, lost itself in the mixture of an alternate reality using real people and situations and of course the typical Tarantino ending. His coup de grâce is always an over-the-top blood bath and this time it only felt like a big QT signature covering up the entire screen. The film went totally off the rails there.
It kept feeling like it was going to be interesting. I kept wanting to have a “wow, I’m glad I watched this” moment… it just never delivered. Yes, there was some good acting. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt did wonderfully. Okay, Pitt pretty much played Pitt… but he did that well. Timothy Olyphant actually showed that he would be believable in a western and Bruce Dern did a great job filling in for Burt Reynolds, who was cast as Warren Spahn but died before filming started.
My take on Tarantino, who I really liked in his early days, is someone who hit it big because he was different – with films like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. They were films unlike anything being made at the time, and he became the toast of the town. The problem is that he has been chasing that first high ever since. Everything since has paled in comparison… and it doesn’t get paler than Once Upon a Time…
by Chris Doelle
Rating 4 of 10