This slow, languid but captivating crime ride along from Quentin Tarantino centres on the travails of airline stewardess and titular heroine, Jackie (played brilliantly by 70s blaxploitation star Pam Grier) whose job on the side – running drugs and cash for Samuel L Jackson’s sociopathic, small-time gunrunner, Ordell Robbie – brings her to the attention of the Feds.
Based on the novel Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard, Tarantino does a pretty faithful job in transferring it to the screen but his own unique hallmark is all over this film and sets it apart from his more caricatured works.
The ensemble cast is uniformly strong and, for the first half of the movie, Tarantino lets us hang out and get to know them; Robert De Niro is a world-worn ex-con and perfect foil to Ordell; Bridget Fonda as the bikini-wearing, bong-smoking, gangster’s eye candy girlfriend, Melanie; and Jackson, all crocodile smiles and death in waiting.
So, Jackie, fenced in by the Feds (Michael Bowen and Michael Keaton) and suspected of betrayal by Ordell needs a strategy to exit town in something other than a body bag.
In short, this is a slow cooking crime drama that follows a collection of characters who’ve been around the block one too many times and found themselves trapped by circumstances they can no longer control.
Jackie Brown Wednesday 11.05pm on ITV4