Pulp Fiction (1994)

July 12, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

Pulp Fiction is an enlightening series of stories that come together to create cinematic bliss with bullets, clever dialogue, and colorful characters. Every character is cool, but there is also a sense of human nature there too. The cast is a director’s wet-dream, as it’s made up of the talents of Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames and Samuel L. Jackson. Quentin Tarantino is at his best directing Pulp Fiction, as everything works with a cool swagger that defies the constraints of time.

Tarantino’s script is magnificent, wholly entertaining, and soulful. Almost every line is memorable and quotable, in the best way, and the stories come together so well that the replay value of the film is golden. The separate stories of interacting lives are juggled so well, mixing in the story of a has-been boxer, a crime boss, two hit-men, the boss’s wife, and two petty thieves. In addition, the soundtrack, filled with the likes of Chuck Barry, Kool and the Gang, the Statler Brothers and so on, is a big cherry on top.

Every single actor fits their respective roles with ease. The only reasonable thing I can do is mention a few of the standout performances. This is the film that re-ignited John Travolta’s career, as he plays Vincent Vega, a laid-back hit-man attempting to be the perfect escort for his boss’s wife, Mia. The second heavy-hitter performance comes from Bruce Willis, playing a down-and-out boxer named Butch Coolidge who decides to retire with a killer knockout instead of the big pay-off to voluntarily go down. Willis is cooler than ever playing the rugged, good-hearted Butch. The home-run hero is without a doubt Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield. The bible-quoting  hit-man makes a glowing transition from deadly assassin to the “shepherd” of redemption.

Pulp Fiction is a pop-culture infused, film of multi-pleasures that is truly a landmark film of the 90s. At the center of the film there is the story of redemption that runs through each part of the whole. We witness these low-life characters find redemption, and it’s a beautiful, majestic experience to take part in. The film hits hard, it goes far, and it crushes the formula in a way that sets it apart from the many other greats in cinema.

Potential Drawbacks:

Obviously, Tarantino films keep their rhythm with the dialogue he provides, and if dialogue isn’t your thing, then this may not be your cup of tea. However, many that don’t like dialogue-driven films will find a special place in their hearts for Pulp Fiction.

Additionally, with a 154 minute run-time, there’s a lot going on with stories that are set out of order, so far those that prefer something more linear, this may be an issue.

Film Recommendations:

Reservoir Dogs
Jackie Brown

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