Monday, February 1, 2010

31) From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

31) From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) Dir: Robert Rodriguez Date Released: January 1996 Date Seen: January 31, 2010 Rating: 3/5

From Dusk Till Dawn seems like a can't-miss high-concept film from director Robert Rodriguez and screenwriter Quentin Tarantino--vampire brothel. Nuf said. The film has a stacked cast of character actors ranging in stature from Harvey Keitel to Fred Williamson and make-up special effects by Tom Savini. How do you screw this one up?

Well first of all, to enjoy From Dusk Till Dawn, no matter how low your expectation may be already, you really need to winch 'em down several more notches. From Dusk Till Dawn spends about half of its 106 minute length getting to the vampire brothel in question, during which time Mr. George Clooney, still fresh-faced and short-haired after his recent residency on E.R., and Mr. Tarantino, wanted fugitives both, take Mr.Keitel and his two kids as hostages as they make their way down to Mexico. This is only as enjoyable as Rodriguez's modest reserve of humor allows it to be. Tarantino's script shows his green-ness, which isn't that much more mature than his later seasoned scripts but it's a sight more inept here in its dearth of enlivening detail.

Once they get down to the brothel, Rodriguez's zeal carries the film but even then, one has to keep in mind that his action scenes are only as worthwhile as they are energetic. They're not expertly choreographed and they're not particularly memorable. But they are sufficiently bouncy. The rest you can take or leave pretty easily but for a bit of mindless fun on a cold Sunday afternoon, you could do a lot worse than this cocky little horror-actioner.

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