Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★½

Enjoying Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in the most perverted Tarantino way.

I liked Quentin "Tarantula" Tarantino's foot fetish tour de force Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as a meandering, redundant and ridiculous fantasy about times that never existed, a true fanboy tribute to the old Hollywood celebrating the wonderful trash of the past with Leo & Brad while being diabolically overpacked with songs almost in the style of Suicide Squad. It's fun, silly and surprisingly entertaining 160 minutes that I could have certainly used in worse ways.

I didn't like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as a typical film, actually. If any Tarantino needs an 8-hour-long miniseries, it would be this one. I'm not sure if that would fix everything, as so many moments are spent doing nothing and the film is way too long for its own good, but at least in the form of a miniseries the superfluous content might start to seem more meaningful with an idea of an endgame.

Thematically, I also didn't care that much about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The characters are more or less one-dimensional cardboard slates meant to present something, but Tarantino isn't able to handle his subjects interestingly or seriously enough to make the audience really care. It's one grand jolly joke, which is all fine, but if he wanted to actually say something remotely thoughtful... chance missed.

Finally, what I really didn't like about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was reducing Bruce Lee, who had to fight against Asian-American stereotypes in Hollywood, to a strange sketch for few laughs and the ultimately half-assed, plus pretty distasteful attempt to depict Sharon Tate as a some kind of dream pixie icon of innocence and an eternally living ideal of Hollywood cinema. For that, she should have been the main character and not a just a random sideshow to be used like a cheap puppet.

I love Mr. Tarantula for what he is: the modern king of fantastic trash. But when he steers away from genre films and tries to make a film like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood... it's bound to be his worst.

joakim dreams of peace liked these reviews