True Romance (1993)

Directed by Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino, “True Romance” couldn’t be more Tarantino-esque if it tried. Christian Slater is on hand at a surrogate of sorts for Tarantino himself, romanticizing pop culture and 1990s bohemia like nothing could be cooler. Patricia Arquette is also extraordinary in her signature role, exuding both naivete and streetwise weariness at once (not unlike Juliette Lewis in “Kalifornia”), and her confrontation scene with James Gandolfini crackles with unsettling intensity. Additionally, there’s a terrific supporting cast, which includes an Oscar-worthy appearance by Christopher Walken and a number of famous performers playing largely against type, and it’s a downright pleasure to watch so many terrific performances in one movie. There are a number of thrilling scenes (including a climactic shootout for the ages) along the way, but this is the type of action movie that works best when concentrating on its compelling characters.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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