Jackie Brown is by far the most under rated Tarantino film. Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs are near perfect films with tons of supporters so I don't really need to shed a light on how important and wonderful those films are and the same goes for Kill Bill and Inglorious Bastards. It feels like Jakie Brown has been forgotten and that is a damn shame.
I first saw Jackie Brown on Christmas day back in 1997 and the film has remained my favorite film of Tarantino's since that day. The man has done some remarkable work since but his best film has somehow gotten lost in the shuffle of the last 17 years. Tarantino has said Jackie Brown is the least favorite of his films but I'm fairly certain that's because it was an adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel, he didn't create the characters so he doesn't hold them as close to his heart.
The film takes over the hill forgotten characters and makes them cool as hell. In a lesser film the stars of Jackie Brown would be ancillary charactertures tossed to the side, laughed at and then forgotten. Pam Grier and Robert Forester are cool and Robert De Niro is more or less a chump in this world. What a strange and wonderful world it is to visit.
The music in the film is also the best of any Tarantino project to date. The opening song by Bobby Womack is remarkable and it plays beautifully against the long tracking shot of Pam Grier.
You have never been that cool and you never will be. In the reality of the film Pam Grier is a forgotten flight attendant working for the worst airline in the business but the opening shot gives us a glimpse into how QT views her. His adoration drips from the screen and its infectious. When he looks at her he hears Bobbly Womack and that's why she is far more bad ass than you. When people look at me they probably hear The Girl From Ipanema.
This film is a love letter to the explotation films of the 1970's. I was barely alive in the 70's so the films don't carry the same punch for me as QT. Shaft, Super Fly and The Mack being exceptions. Being a fan of those films isn't a requirement for enjoyment of Jackie Brown. Sure when people like Sid Heig have a cameo its a nice nod to those films but that knowledge neither adds or detracts form the overall experience of watching it.
Samuel L Jackson, Micheal Keaton and Chris Tucker all give great performances but this is the Pam and Robert show. If you haven't seen it, remedy that as soon as possible. Jackie Brown is streaming on Netflix.