You won't know the facts until you've seen the fiction.
Pulp Fiction is a 1994 black comedy-crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino, written by Quentin Tarantino, produced by A Band Apart and Jersey Films, and distributed by Miramax Films. The film stars John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. It was nominated for and won Best Original Screenplay. Otherwise, it was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Travolta), Best Supporting Actor (Jackson), Best Supporting Actress (Thurman), Best Film Editing, and Best Director.
"Mmmm. This is a tasty burger." -Jules Winnfield
Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield are gangsters that love to have deep discussions about life and food. Their story is also tangled with their boss, Marsellus Wallace and his wife, Mia, ultra-violent boxer Butch Coolidge and his search for his gold watch, clever fixer Winston Wolfe and his ways of saving people from dire situations, and a pair of loud burglars that are robbing a restaurant.
The best thing about Pulp Fiction is that it simply doesn't care. Every rule about filmmaking and storytelling? Just thrown out the window. The movie is told out of order. There isn't really a plot. It's almost an anthology film. The better thing to compare it to would be four episodes of a TV show that are combined into a movie.
I love the story of this film because there isn't really a story. The plot is really sidelined, which is great. Some paintings or pieces of artwork are incredibly popular even though they are just random scribbles that seem to make something that is nice to look at. That's what Pulp Fiction is. It's this crazy scribble that is really spectacular.
I am being completely honest when I say Pulp Fiction has the single best screenplay for a film that I have ever seen. Quentin Tarantino's dialogue is absolute perfection. It's quick and comes out at a ridiculously fast pace. The words feel so naturally right. If these conversations were in any other movie, it wouldn't work. The characters talk about the most absurd things that you shouldn't care about. For example, the first scene with Vincent and Jules is them talking about what they call cheeseburgers in Europe. It is the stupidest thing, but the writing is so hilarious and perfect that you are totally invested in this strange conversation.
Quentin Tarantino is one of the best movie directors of all time. His films are known for being so incredibly distinct, and that's exactly what Pulp Fiction is. It has all the dark comedy that he is known for. The violence is nasty. The story is non-linear. And everything that Tarantino is known for is executed to absolute perfection in this movie. He directs this like no one else, and his marks are all over this film. The uniqueness of each long scene has Tarantino written all over it.
I haven't even gotten to the acting. The film hops from character to character, but I'd say that the main character is Vincent Vega, played by John Travolta. I don't think Travolta is a very good actor, but he is absolutely amazing in this movie. He has this drawling and calm voice that meshes so well with Tarantino's dialogue. When he needs to be worried or angry, he can do that, too.
Samuel L. Jackson is on the opposite side of Travolta. This is him in full swing. He embraces this role with his crazy loud demeanor and hilarious overuse of swear words whilst yelling. He combines everything that he's usually great about and earns a very well deserved Oscar nod. Uma Thurman takes on the weird, crazy role of Mia Wallace. She makes you really uncomfortable while watching her, because she is this unsettling and crazy person that is addicted to drugs and alcohol.
While still good, Bruce Willis is definitely overshadowed by the rest of the performances. He doesn't disappear into this role like the others do. Instead of seeing Butch Coolidge, I see an angrier, meaner John McClane. He is great as that, and I love him as John McClane. He brings an anger and a realism to this role that I did appreciate.
This movie also times the comedy perfectly. The way that comedy is done in the movie is so great, because it's so dark and shouldn't be funny. The funniest moment in the movie is when Vincent accidentally shoots Marvin's head off. The moment is nasty and dark, but also really, really funny. It's one example of how well the comedy is done in this movie.
These characters are really great. They are all awful people that you wouldn't ever want to cross in real life, but they are also all likable (except Mia, in my opinion). Even the druggie that sells illegal drugs that end up leading to Mia's near death is likable. I don't know how Tarantino does it, but he makes everyone feel like a good friend of yours.
And, finally, I do like how everything comes full circle and the stories are eventually connected at the end. It feels like a nice way to close out the film, especially the way that everything is resolved. Jules and Vincent end the movie in a way that feels completely right within what we've learned about each character and how they'd handle the situation.
I have two minor complaints about this film: I do think that the Bruce Willis segment, which is called The Gold Watch, drags on for a bit too long. I find Vincent and Jules much more interesting than Butch, which contributed to my thinking that this part is too long. Cut off five minutes of it, and you've got a perfectly timed chapter in this movie.
Also, there is a lot of racist dialogue in this movie. I get that that's part of Tarantino's flair, but it needs to be toned down a lot. The n-word is used by too many people too many times, which can offend a lot of people nowadays.
Pulp Fiction is easily one of the best movies ever made and one of the most unique films that I've seen. Everything is basically perfect, so you know what score this gets.
I will give it a Sweet rating. Age range is 17+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad)
Fun Factor: 9/10
Story: 9.5/10 Characters: 10/10
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Rated R for strong bloody violence, language, sexual content, thematic elements, drug usage, disturbing images and behavior
Released on October 14, 1994
2 hours and 34 minutes
John Travolta as Vincent Vega
Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield
Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace
Bruce Willis as Butch Coolidge
Ving Rhames as Marsellus Wallace
Harvey Keitel as Winston "The Wolf" Wolf
Tim Roth as Pumpkin
Amanda Plummer as Honey Bunny
Eric Stoltz as Lance
Christopher Walken as Captain Koons
Maria de Medeiros as Fabienne
Peter Greene as Zed
Quentin Tarantino as Jimmy