Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood (2019) Review

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Los Angeles in 1969 as Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth struggle to recognise the industry they once loved, as a TV star he is fearing that his career is over and he will never be part of Hollywood’s ending Golden Age.

⭐️⭐️

Rick Dalton is truly struggling with his existence and wants more from his career as the heavy/bad guy in TV shows mainly typecast to Westerns. He fears the end of his career and is not really offered much more. Unless he is willing to head to Italy to make some actual films? Cliff Booth was his long standing stuntman and turned personal assistant who might have killed his wife. This is mentioned a few times but it is never confirmed or even denied. I felt with that revelation it was then going to build up into the crazy world of Tarantino like we expected.

The problem was this did not feel very much like a Tarantino film at all, it took until the last five minutes or so for anything to really happen. Everything before that was very flat and quite frankly boring. We got to see Rick Dalton filming, I mean filming a tv show within an actual film . . . Sharon Tate watching her won film at a cinema and Cliff entering a hippy world which was linked to Charles Manson. But I feel I only know what the latter thing was because of reading about the real events which kinda inspired this film. I was nervous about that with the brutal murder of Sharon Tate, but luckily that was when we were reminded that we were in a Tarantino film.

The film has a long running time of 2 hours and 41 minutes, which actually feels that long when you add on adverts and trailers you are in the cinema screen for a good 3 hours and 10 minutes. Which I wouldn’t mind if the film was at all engaging and entertaining. Unfortunately this is my biggest disappointment of the year (so far). I throughly enjoyed The Hateful Eight and a big fan of his earlier films. Seeing this one talked about as being on par with Pulp Fiction gave it a massive mantel which is doesn’t get anywhere near in my opinion.

It takes a lot for a film to get an 18 rating and the end was quite frankly the only reason this got that rating. Even the language wasn’t that extreme and everything else was just normal really. In terms of links to the real story Rick and Cliff are fictional characters and in all honesty could have been a lot more interesting, which was a shame really.

Performance wise I do feel Brad Pitt can come away with the most plaudits from this one though, as he was certainly back on good form. Leonardo DiCaprio is always a strong actor and worked very well with Pitt. It is probably the least annoying I have seen Margot Robbie, but her limited screen time would have aided this opinion I reckon! I felt Al Pacino was not used enough and was hopeful Kurt Russell would have had a bigger role in what turned into more of a cameo.

I personally feel the hype surrounding this one from not only the marketing in the build up but my own expectations helped lead to the big disappointment. It has a couple of decent moments but then just went away again until the finale but then it was over.

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