Film: Jackie Brown
Cast includes: Pam Grier (Foxy Brown), Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction), Robert Foster (All the Rage), Bridget Fonda (Single White Female), Robert De Niro (Mean Streets), Michael Keaton (Batman Returns)
Director: Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction)
Genre: Dark crime thriller/comedy (1997) based on the novel, Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard
In brief: Bail bondsman, Max Cherry, is very good at his job. He’s professional, thorough, and strictly business. He first meets Ordell Robbie when Ordell wants to post a $10,000 bond for the release of Beaumont Livingston. “Beaumont ain’t got the doing-time kind of disposition.” And Ordell ain’t got a taking-risk kind of disposition. He needs Beaumont sprung so he can cancel his contract. When Ordell takes his new flunky, Louis, to see his handy work, it’s a lesson for Louis. Looking into the trunk of the car at the very dead Beaumont, Ordell says it’s “an employee I had to let go… a clear case of him or me, and you best believe it won’t be me.” When flight attendant, Jackie Brown, is picked up at LAX carrying $50,000 and some blow, Ordell needs to post bail again.
Jackie is “a 44-year-old black woman, desperately holding on to a shitty little job.” But that shitty little job lets her regularly bypass customs carrying cash for Ordell. Ordell is an illegal gun dealer, which is a very lucrative business. The only problem is that his money ends up in Mexico, and he needs someone like Jackie to bring it through customs. When Max goes to the jail to post bond for Jackie, something happens. Watching Jackie walk toward the gate, Max knows Jackie is special. After Max drops her home, Jackie gets a visit from Ordell… Ordell needs to let another employee go. But Jackie’s too smart. With a gun to his gut, Ordell is forced to negotiate with her. After all, Jackie has something Ordell needs… a plan for bringing in the rest of Ordell’s half million dollars.
It’s a complex plan with double crosses and double, double crosses. It involves the Feds, Ordells two girlfriends, Louis and the straight-arrow bail bondsman. If there weren’t so many greedy players in the plan, it wouldn’t work. But Jackie knows how to read people. It’s a highly irreverent crime caper with a cast of darkly funny characters. Non-stop profanity alternates with retro pop songs, like “Didn’t I” from the Delfonics… Jackie’s favorite group. In Tarantino style… this is one is highly stylized and highly irreverent. Unlike some of Tarantino’s movies, this one has some characters we can root for without reservation. And motor mouth Ordell spices up the experience with some very funny dialog. In the end though, it’s Jackie who has the last laugh… “I gave my heart and soul to you, girl.”
3 popped kernels
Popped kernels for the story, the acting, the casting and the dark humor. This may be my favorite QT movie, but most QT fans wouldn't agree. It's dark, but I didn't want to shoot myself afterward.