BK17’s review published on Letterboxd:
*seen in 35MM film at QT’s New Bery Cinema
This would be a good movie for Tarantino to retire on. He has created films that will stand the test of time and all his movies have shown his love for film. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is perhaps his biggest love letter yet.
No one can deny this man loves film. Aside from the ending every scene in this movie plays like a homage to a movie that inspired him.
With that being said I was semi disappointed. It’s good but could have easily been great. 2 hours and 40 plus minutes that amount to very little. We have a great set up for the character of Rick Dalton played by expertly by Leo. His encounter with Pacino sets up a great character arc. Sadly nothing really is done with it. This movie is stuff happening, the ending confrontation takes place.....and then it’s just over.
There are great scenes no doubt. Leo and Pitt crush it. The scene of them watching FBI is great, Rick’s two scenes with the girl are great and the final fight is fun..... but to what end? The only character who has any kind of arc is Tate and even then it is minimal. Robbie isn’t in the movie much but plays the role well. The scenes are for the most part all great. They just don’t really come together to form a good story.
The movie never justifies its run time and so much was unnecessary. The cuts to other things sometimes work (needed a better editior) but many times didn’t. We have a big time skip and I seriously question the point of anything prior to it. This was good pacing and clear narrtive thrust away from being a 4.
I know it sounds like I hated it but I didn’t. The scenes stand-alone are SOOOO GOOD but like I said above it just never came together for me.
QT’s place in film history is secure. He should let this be his last and write those film books he’s promised. Ride off into the sunset and don’t look.
PS. I know what Dean Martin movie I’m watching this week.