Friday, 11 January 2013

Jackie Brown (5 Stars)

In a recent article in Empire film magazine it was said that even though "Jackie Brown" isn't as popular as Quentin Tarantino's other films it's probably his best film. I don't know what criteria this statement is based on, but I have to say that I agree. For a while I preferred "Kill Bill, Vol 1", but "Jackie Brown" is a film that grips me more. I'd now place it in my top 10 films.

"Jackie Brown" is a tasteful homage to the blaxploitation films of the 1970's and 1980's. "Blaxploitation", sometimes spelt "blacksploitation", is a strange word. It's an exploitation film that features black people, but my question is, in what way do these films exploit black people? Normal exploitation films include gratuitous nudity and sex, so I can understand the word. Nunsploitation films -- what an awful word! -- feature nude nuns, so I can understand the concept. On the other hand, blaxploitation films rarely contain sex scenes, they're just gritty urban crime films that star black actors. Nevertheless, the parameters are well defined, and Quentin Tarantino followed them to create this masterwork.

Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson) is a man with a plan. He has saved one million dollars from his business selling guns illegally, and he wants to retire. The problem is that more than half of his money is stored in Mexico. In cash. He uses an airline stewardess, Jackie Brown (Pam Grier), to transport the cash to him a bit at a time. She is caught by the police carrying $50,000, so Ordell decides to bail her out and kill her before she testifies against him. In the following complex but believable story Jackie hatches a plan with Max Cherry (Robert Forster), the bail bondsman. She tells the police she will deceive Ordell and trick him into letting her bring the rest of his money into America. She tells Ordell that she is deceiving the police and will make sure he gets his money. Now she has to remain cool and steal the money for herself while being observed by both the police and Ordell's gang.

Maybe I should write more about the film, but I'm sure I'll watch it again, so I can write more next time. A work of genius. Click here to view the trailer.

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