Quintin Tarantino has done it again. The 9th film by the iconic director was one of the most anticipated movies of the summer. And that wasn’t just because of the star studded cast that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russel, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant & the great late Luke Perry.
Now If that wasn’t enough to persuade fans to rush to the movie theater, then the fact that Tarantino was toying around with the real life story of actress Sharon Tate who’s played by Robbie. If you guys aren’t aware of what happen to Sharon Tate then (SPOILERS AHEAD)….she was murdered on August 8th 1969, by members of the Manson family. Speaking of the Manson family, Charles Manson makes an appearance in the film as well. Still not intrigued? Well it’s Quintin FREAKING Tarantino and if you know anything about his movies you know that nothing is what it seems and his style of story telling is unique but unorthodox to say the least. There was a lot of cool references for my fellow audience members who are from the 60’s, even Bruce Lee himself!! Just kidding. Bruce Lee was in the film but obviously it wasn’t Bruce himself, instead actor Mike Moh was the one who portrayed the legendary martial artist. All controversy aside as how Lee was portrayed in the film, one of the most exciting scenes was a phenomenal flashback scene watching Moh as Lee go one on one with Brad Pitts character Cliff Booth in a good old fashion friendly exhibition with Pitt’s character actually getting the better of Lee.
The movie did have some minor flaws, as we already know that there is no such thing as a perfect film. Perhaps at some points there was some unnecessary scenes that may have dragged on a bit too much or really shouldn’t have been in the movie in my opinion. With a runtime of 2:45 it’s a lot of film to take in but one thing Tarantino did was keep you intrigued and entertained at all times. Whether it was watching a 54 year old Brad Pitt show off his chiseled physique for the ladies, or the stunning Margot Robbie dancing her way through the playboy mansion, for the fellas or a stalker Charles Manson and his legion of hippies you were drawn in to the story.
And I haven’t even got to the best part of the whole film and that’s the man himself, Rick Dalton. A Hollywood legend who’s on the brink of becoming a has been and is looking for one big role to spark life back into his career. He also happens to be a heavy drinker. Leonardo DiCaprio nailed this role right down to the core. He proved why he’s an academy award winner and probably a nominee for this years oscars based off his performance in this movie alone. I mean he inception the hell out of this role. He was an actor playing a character in a movie while playing a character in a movie. Hope I didn’t lose you there. In other words we got to see Dicaprio play Rick Dalton who then played other roles in several tv shows and movies…in the movie. Not to mention the chemistry he had with his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) was spectacular. A lot of credit obviously goes to Tarantino who wrote the script and is notorious for working with actors more than once. This is the second time he worked with DiCaprio as we all recall they previously worked together in 2012’s Django Unchained.
The build up throughout the whole film keeps you on the edge because you the audience thinks you know what’s going to happen based on the real life events that took place. Of course Tarantino said hold my beer, because no one had any clue of what was about to go down. As mentioned earlier, we’re all aware that In 1969 Sharon Tate was brutally murdered by members of the Manson family while being 2 weeks away from giving birth. Quintin Tarantino flipped the entire script and showed us why he’s a mastermind of a filmmaker because in his fictional version, Sharon Tate does NOT get murdered. In fact the ones who end up getting brutally murdered are members of the Manson family. Now at this point, both Cliff Booth and Rick Dalton have returned back home to LA after spending quite some type in Italy making Italian western movies. Dalton finally got the rejuvenation to his career that he was searching for and no doubt he brought his best friend Cliff Booth with him. Now home and mutually deciding to go their separate ways, Cliff and Rick have decided to go out with a bang and get wasted one last time at the expensive newly purchased home of Dalton. This is where things go 0-100 in a heartbeat. Cliff thought it was a great idea to smoke a cigarette dipped in acid and walk his pit bull while Rick proceeded to get bombed off homemade margaritas while his Italian wife slept in the bedroom. It was at this moment, unbeknownst to both Cliff and Rick, that 3 members of the Manson family (a male and 2 females) have pulled up with a plan to murder Tate but after an intoxicated Rick who just so happens to be Tate’s next door neighbor hears their car outside he disrespectfully insults them constantly referring to them as F’n stinking hippies and tells them to get off his property which they do so but not before choosing to add poor Rick to their list of victims . Meanwhile back at the Dalton residence Cliff Booth has returned back from his walk and has embarked on a serious acid trip and to make matters worse, the Manson family has barged in through the front door and it was at this moment….they knew they walked into the wrong house. What followed after was classic Tarantino and one of the most vicious and brutal fight scenes you’ll get the pleasure of enjoying. Cliff Booth with the help of his trusty sidekick Pitt dismantled the 3 hippies in a very violent way. There was dog biting, gunshots, knife stabbing, old school fist fighting and even a freaking FLAMETHROWER!! All this while Sharon Tate slept peacefully in her home.
At the end of all the madness, while police removed the bodies, and paramedics attended to a wounded Cliff Booth who took a knife to the leg, Rick Dalton much to his surprise gets invited next door to Tates home who had heard of what had transpired. Rick Dalton just wanted to be recognized as a phenomenal actor and here was one of Hollywood’s top personas Sharon Tate making reference to his work and acknowledging him as one of her favorites which of course brought everything full circle for him. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood was a recreation of real life events that never happen that in the end turned out to be a fun story.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is in theaters now.