Movie review: "Death Proof" (2007)
Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) has a cool scar and a cool Chevy and hangs out at a cool bar frequented by sex-sational chicks such as Jungle Julia (Sydney Tamiia Poitier – named after her famous dad). Talking his way into scoring the "Swan Lake" of lapdances, the dude seems like a charmer. But when he gives Pam (a blonde Rose McGowan) a lift home, we discover he's really a snake – and we get a crash course in the concept of "death proof".
Later and elsewhere, psycho Mike plays more road games with a quartet straight from Male Fantasies 101 (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosario Dawson, Zoe Bell and Tracie Thoms). Seriously boneheaded move. Two of the babes are stuntwomen and can handle themselves – and their borrowed muscle car – even better than he can. Maybe this time it'll be Mike who learns a lesson about whether anything can ever really be death proof.
Once half of the "Grindhouse" double bill with Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror", "Death Proof" is now sufficiently long, with enough of writer/director/pretend bartender Quentin Tarantino's trademark repartee and holy-crap-my-palms-are-sweating action, to stand on its lonesome. All the deliberate errors to make it resemble a drive-in nasty from the 70s – artefacts, flickers, the sound not syncing, the colour dropping out – are just a film geek bonus.
Final word: Proof Tarantino is da man!
[Australian cinema release date: November 1]