There’s something profoundly offensive about this. Oh, it isn’t the gratuitous catalog of stereotypes. Its the fact that they are stereotypes, unmodified in any way. It isn’t that it doesn’t move, but that it does so without passion. Borrowing is part of life, but a simple collage is different than a living ecosystem.
Comic books are still comic books. The illusion of movement is just an illusion.
There are, however, two things I enjoyed.
Brad Pitt is amusing, not in the context of the film, but in the context of his craft. He is turning into a worthy actor, taking chances and not relaxing. I cannot imagine anyone else with this range. Chris Cooper? Pitt is not an intelligent man, so he cannot be an intelligent actor and he cannot stand outside this business and annotate. But he can be overtly ridiculous, and that is good enough here.
The other thing is the way the film within is constructed. It is as blunt as everything else, but because of what it is, it is fun. The thing is set up for a film within, misplaced. The literal film within is a war film, perverted by an exhibitor. But the real film within is the film of that film’s audience, who as viewers have done to them what they celebrate on screen. It is really a very elegant idea, just kicked on our face.
Oh, a more structural elegance works a whole lot better. This is not extended from the war genre, but the detective one. Our main character is not the leader of a group of terrorists. but a master detective in a efficient machine that gets increasingly madder as you get away from him. Detectives are our most deeply cinematic narrative flows and QT knows what to do with it.
Sure he builds this out of trash, but he lines things up properly, we discover.
Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.