The Ron’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film 2 on my Re-watch Wednesday list.
"AK-47. The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherfucker in the room, accept no substitutes."
If you follow me here on Letterboxd you probably know that Quentin Tarantino is one of my favorite directors. Since the first time I saw Pulp Fiction I've loved his work. With one exception, Jackie Brown. I saw it the year it was released 1997. I went in with high expectations only to come out underwhelmed. I'd go as far to say I didn't really like it at the time. Fast forward to 2014. I've seen every film QT has made multiple times, and loved everyone of them. Except Jackie Brown. Truth be told I've only seen it once until today. I knew it was probably the most pressing re-watch of any film I've ever seen. It was that one film by one of my favorite directors that for whatever reason didn't click with me when I initially saw it. I had a strong feeling that would change when I finally got around to re-watching it, and what better way to do that than with my Re-watch Wednesday project. As many of you probably suspected, I liked it a hell of a lot more this time. Just like his other films I can now say I love it. I don't know what my issue was the first time, but whatever it was it's stuck back in 97 somewhere.
Pam Grier plays Jackie Brown. An aging flight attendant caught smuggling cash for Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson) by the ATF. Robbie uses the cash to buy and sell guns so the ATF really wants to bust him. Using potential prison time as leverage against Jackie they force her to help them with their investigation. Little do they know Jackie is a lot smarter than they think, and she agrees to help them all the while hatching a plan to make off with Robbie's dough.
Like most of Tarantino's films Jackie Brown features a large cast made up of recognizable actors all playing very interesting characters. Everyone from the main players to the actors/actresses in smaller roles is intriguing in one way or another. Pam Grier in somewhat of a comeback role is really good, but like he has in several of QT's films Samuel L. Jackson steals the show. There's just something about SLJ and Tarantino's trademark dialogue that's fucking hilarious. Damn near everything he says is funny whether intentional or not. Plus Jackson has some hair that likely only rivals Javier Bardem's in No Country for Old Men for the most fucked up in cinematic history. Throw in a nice little role for Robert DeNiro, Bridget Fonda looking hot, Michael Keaton, and Robert Forster you've got one hell of a cast.
The story itself is pretty simple. Guns, money, and people plotting against each other. What makes it interesting is the characters. If you tried to tell the same story with less interesting characters it would be a borefest. That's where one of Tarantino's greatest strengths comes in. He's made a career out of writing great dialogue for great characters. All of his films feature fantastic characters who are very memorable. They're memorable thanks to QT's dialogue. You can quote multiple lines from all of his movies and Jackie Brown is no exception. I could probably just listen to the dialogue without the visuals and I'd laugh my ass off many times.
Like I mentioned I don't really know why this didn't work for me the first time. I think maybe my expectations were a little too high considering Pulp Fiction was and still is in my top 5 of all-time. Other than that I don't have a single excuse because this is a fantastic film. I won't be waiting 17 years before I re-watch it next time.