Quentin Tarantino's new film (Final one? Yet again?) was, at just 20 mins shy of three hours long, something of an endurance test for me. It wouldn't have mattered so much if the first couple of hours had been really gripping - or even plain moderately interesting - but, apart from a very few moments of wry humour plus a little dash of violence (most of which is reserved for the final twenty minutes, and fairly graphic, as is only to be expected from Tarantino), I found it all something of a drag.
The set-up is okay, quite original as far as I know, but hardly substantial enough to sustain interest for a period of what is longer than a lot of other entire feature films.
!969, mainly in Hollywood - fading film star (Leonardo DiCaprio) whose usual screen appearances as sharp-shooter cowboy is now reduced to guest slot appearances on TV. He and his stand-in stunt double (Brad Pitt) are practically joined at the hip, mooching around, drinking their idle time away in fraternal amity (and both smoking like chimneys), living in plush Hollywood celebrity-area residences. Pitt's character lives with his dog next door to director Roman Polanski's and his wife, film star Sharon Tate's, spacious home (she played by Margot Robbie). The film starts a few months before and leads up to the time of the Charles Manson 'Helter Skelter' murders. We recall from the news at the time of a group of Manson's 'hippy' followers, high on drugs, who'd got into Polanski's house (he himself being in Europe at the time), committing several grisly murders including that of the heavily pregnant Sharon Tate. I'll say no more on that score.
Although Margot Robbie as Tate gets third place billing, she doesn't really have that much to do. Probably her longest scene is when she goes alone into a cinema to watch, with great pride and satisfaction, one of her own films, pleased at the positive response to her screen appearances by the surrounding audience.
I am a fan of Tarantino's films but I'd definitely say that this is his weakest one of all, not exactly a good one to go out on if that is what is intended. Overall, it's nowhere near as violent as his other films and though I was tensing myself up expecting to see a finale of major bloodbath dimensions when it came he didn't go quite as far over the top as I was anticipating.
A major compression of the film by reducing its playing time by one full hour would, in my opinion, not go amiss. It can take it, and there'd be the gain of taking out those many intervals of ennui. However, yet again (as you can see by ratings from other sites) my view is not widely shared, so in disagreeing with how I feel you'd be part of a majority.
Oh, and by the way, Brad Pitt's dog doesn't come to any serious harm - only some rather cruel teasing...............6.
(IMDb...............8.2 / Rott. Toms..........3.77/5 )
11 minutes ago