PULP FICTION is a singular show. The best way to describe it is
that it is as if you sit down in the movie theater and are immediately
transported to a roller coaster going full speed through a fun house of
ghoulish images. This is complemented with one of the funniest,
smartest, and filthiest dialogs I have heard in a long time. There is
no other movie I can compare it to. It has the adrenaline flow of
SPEED, the intelligent dialog of MY DINNER WITH ANDRE, the violence of
the goriest part of the GODFATHER, and the comedy of TOOTSIE. All that
having been said, it is like none of the above other than the
superficial aspects I just mentioned.
If extreme violence (e.g., brains blown on car windows) is
something you can not endure, if 700 uses of the F word is something
you can not tolerate, if heavy drug use is something you care never to
see (cocaine is passe we learn, all of the in-gangsters now do heroin),
then do not pay your money to see PULP FICTION.
On the other hand, all of the above really works in this show.
This is a parody of criminal life and a really funny one. This is a
show that takes one chance after another. John Travolta and Samuel L.
Jackson are nothing short of terrific in it. Oscars are possible here.
They play the hit men for a major bad guy (Marsellus Wallace). The bad
guy is also paying a boxer (Bruce Willis) to take a dive. Harvey
Keitel plays a fixer of problems for the bad guy. Tim Roth and Amanda
Plummer play a couple of two-bit crooks who like robbing restaurants
because nobody else does that. Eric Stoltz plays a low class drug
dealer and Rosanna Arquette plays his girlfriend who has rings in every
part of her anatomy (yes, there too). Christopher Walken shows up in a
single long important scene. Uma Thurman plays the major bad guy's
wife. Whew, and I probably missed a lot of other people who did some
The major hero and the one who took the most risks in this movie
was the scriptwriter. He was also the director - Quentin Tarantino.
The script went from funny scenes like a restaurant where all the staff
were 50s famous look-alikes to a scene where the two hit men were first
discussing what a McDonald's quarter-pounder is called in France and
why to a discussion of whether it was okay to kill someone for
massaging your wife's feet.
This is a movie that to describe it will only make you want NOT to
go see it, yet it is mesmerizing and wonderful. The intensity level of
the movie is off the scale. People were laughing like crazy in the
theater and to intelligent dialog too. Other scenes had the audience
gasping for breath and uttering out loud "oh, my god". Several scenes
were worse the finger cutting scene in The Piano.
The camerawork was mainly standard stuff, but there are several
scenes where it got pretty experimental. The best example is the long
scene of Wills staring into the camera without moving while he listens
to the major bad guy, whom we have not yet seen, delivering a long
lecture. It then switches to a view of only the back of the bad guy's
head with everything else out of focus while Willis listens for quite a
If you can like roller coasters and if you have taken to heart my
very serious caveats at the first, then I recommend this show to you.
Do not take or let any teenager see this. It IS too much for them. It
is rated R, but this is certainly NC-17. Why it did not get NC-17 I
can not figure out unless it was because the show only talks about sex
and has no naked bodies. It runs 2:34 which is a tad long. I think
the movie is truly unique and is perfect for its genre so I give it my
top rating of ****. See it on a big screen with lots of folks in the
audience for maximum enjoyment.
Copyright © 1994 Steve Rhodes