Tony Scott's True Romance (1993) puts a hip '90s spin on the lovers-on-the-run formula perfected early on by Fritz Lang's You Only Live Once and, three decades later, by Bonnie and Clyde. Written by ace smart-aleck Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), it stars Christian Slater as a movie-crazed geek named Clarence, and Patricia Arquette as his ex-hooker wife, Alabama, who find themselves skipping town -- ineptly -- with a suitcase full of stolen cocaine and the mob in hot pursuit. Stylized, extremely violent and salted with dark humor, the film features a dizzying wealth of all-star cameos: Gary Oldman as the infuriated drug dealer, Christopher Walken as a slick Mafioso with a taste for torture, Dennis Hopper as a bewildered former cop, Brad Pitt as a spaced-out druggie and, strangest of all, Val Kilmer as the ghost of Elvis, to whom Clarence goes for counsel when he really starts to worry about things. Thanks to the high-octane directing style of Scott (The Hunger, Top Gun), the relentless wisecracks of Tarantino and a dynamite cast that's clearly having fun, this minor classic pushes all the buttons for any audience on the prowl for cheap thrills.
True Romance screens Saturday night, May 8, in the popular Midnights at the Mayan series. The Mayan Theater is at 110 Broadway; for information, call 303-352-1992 or log on to www.landmarktheatres.com.
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