Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

No one besides Tarantino could have made this movie, and that is absolutely not a complement. Only someone with a decade plus of Hollywood, critics, and fans sucking their dick at every turn could pull together such a great cast into a movie that is about absolutely nothing. This is Tarantino at his most self-indulgent; pure unchecked ego. Before this I would have called The Hateful Eight the most masturbatory movie of all time, so you could say he's on a roll.

There is no semblance of structure here. There are flashbacks within flashbacks. There's one line of narration 10 minutes in, then none more until 15 minutes remain. The jokes rarely land. The climactic action scene that takes place with 10 minutes remaining (arguably the only memorable scene in the movie) is completely incidental to the overall plot: a plot which barely exists in the first place. There are at least two films happening at once here, and neither is interesting.

The acting is great, but who cares. You get some of the best actors in the world playing off of each other, of course you're gonna get good performances. The movie's visual style is basically "hey, it's 1969." That's it. Nothing that makes any of QT's movies distinct is present here. Minor editing and cinematographic flourishes pop up, are used once, then disappear. The tone of both the film's visual language and its literal dialog vary wildly and have no consistency. This is a film by definition only.

The movie bills itself in trailers and other marketing as being at least partially about Sharon Tate and Charles Manson. The scenes that include them could be completely cut from the film and it would be exactly the same movie. Margot Robbie is wasted here, along with every other inexplicably cast moviestar that isn't Leo or Brad. I could rant for hours about the inclusion of Roman Polanski as a character, partially reflecting Tarantino himself as a problematic aspect of modern-day Hollywood, but this review is long enough.

His worst film by a country mile.

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