The contemporary master of cinema, Quentin Tarantino, has so many excellent pieces of work, so many diverse, fascinating and exciting tour de forces, that some of his lesser known pieces, such as "Jackie Brown" are often lost in the history books. And alongside being forgotten they are also often dismissed as lesser films, or bad films. Despite this, Jackie Brown, which was Tarantino's work between "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill", is an excellent film.
As Tarantino's usual suspects re-assemble, we are told a tale of drug smuggling, guns and lots of cash as we mix with both criminals and the cops. The synopsis itself is not important, as the story unfolds beautifully with a little bit of romance sprinkled on top of a lot of suspense,
The problem with Tarantino's lesser known films is the fact that they are immediately compared to one of his always known masterpieces, rather than being compared to the average film. Reviewing "Jackie Brown" on an average film basis, you get the product of excellent direction, almost all good acting, an intriguing storyline, and an all over enjoyable film.
Samuel L Jackson heads up the team of actors, creating a typical Jackson Tarantino performance, but as always entertaining, and also creating a very believable and scary character, who scares his audience but also creates the character of Ordell into someone the audience like and enjoy being with on the screen, despite the fact they hate the fact they do.
Pam Grier serves up an excellent performance as the title character, who plays an excellent strong female character, who lead the film beautifully. Alongside her, we have Robert Forster, who serves up the best performance of his career. Although his character is possibly the most moderate, sensible and likeable person of any Tarantino, he makes a nice change to the other criminals who dominate the screen. Forster also empowers the traditional good of the screen where the police officers, played by Michael Keaton and others, fail.
But the best performance of the film comes from Robert De Niro. De Niro, leading the audience on throughout 90% of the film as one type of person, shocks and pleasantly surprises everyone with his small, but excellent performance.
The cinematography is nothing special, but what really dominates the film, is the ability of Tarantino to tell a fascinating story, and un-wide it, inciting the audience with every new move. "Jackie Brown" is an excellent film. The reason it is passed over as something less than it is, is because of the historical achievements of Tarantino, just even after 5 years of filmmaking.
But "Brown" is an excellent film, and one which should have a place in every film enthusiast's collection. Although it is perhaps too full of story lines, twist, sub-twists, and more, "Jackie Brown" is a great film by Tarantino standards, and a fantastic one by others.