Stephen Nagel – Tarantino’s latest film is made for one person: Tarantino. Sure it’s got the mass appeal, focusing tangentially on one of the biggest murder stories that shook the US at the end of the 1960s, but the truth is that this revisionist history is a daydream straight from the mind of Tarantino of what could have been.
Despite quippy dialogue, some awesome characters, and great camera work (I mean this is a Tarantino film after all), the film suffers from pacing issues, many useless characters and a really unnecessary betrayal of Bruce Lee.
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood doesn’t necessarily require that you know all the details of the people and events surrounding the Tate murders, but it does reward audiences who have a deep knowledge thereof. So much so that it becomes a completely different kind of film depending on the depth of your knowledge of this American history. But that’s not the only annoying part; there’s also the fact that the entire film is just one giant wink to everyone who has or still is working in Hollywood, with praise for the old guard and a reluctant acceptance of modernization. Despite this, Brad Pitt’s performance as the personification of this was amazing, and his work should garner some awards.
Lastly, the film suffers pacing issues because of active choices by Tarantino. Get ready to follow cars as they drive across Town, while later getting a 5-minute exposition dump through a dialogue of events that took place elsewhere. It’s the choices like this that make the film a meandering journey that doesn’t quite live up to his previous work.
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