Jackie Brown (1997)

How do you top a massive hit like Pulp Fiction? You don’t. It took Quentin Tarantino three and a half years as well as a writing, producing and acting job on From Dusk Till Dawn to come out with a new directing effort. With Jackie Brown, he moved into a different direction, without giving up his established style completely. Gone is (in large part) the nonlinear story structure, gone are the excentric off-topic speeches, gone is the relentless directness. As such, Jackie Brown doesn’t compare favorably with its predecessors. It is missing the same tension and urgency. The film is based on Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch and tells the story of Jackie Brown, a fourty-something year old stewardess for a sleazy mexican airline, who smuggles money for a little wannabe crime lord (Samuel L. Jackson) into the states. When she gets busted, she tries to pull one over on Jackson. Tarantino mixes a homage to 70s blaxpoitation movies and heist comedy. He even wrote the title role for former blaxpoitation star Pam Grier (Foxy Brown becomes Jackie Brown). The heist itself is smartly planned and the different parties try to outthink eachother. Jackson and Grier give solid performances, while DeNiro is pretty overqualified for his secondary role. However, non of the characters is anywhere near as memorable or exciting as those in Tarantino’s previous exploits. The runtime is a little long for the material and too much time is spent lingering on conversations and characters that don’t quite earn it.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton, Robert DeNiro
Genre: Crime, Drama
Rated: R
Runtime: 154 min.
Release Date: 1997/12/25
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino
Editor: Sally Menke
Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro
Budget: $12 million