Love and a .45 (1994)
“In The End There Are Only Two Things That Matter…”
Love and a .45 (1994)
Director: C. M. Talkington
Cast: Gil Bellows, Renée Zellweger, Rory Cochrane
Synopsis: Small-time criminal Watty Wattsnattempts to rob a convenience store with his drug-addict buddy, Billy Mack Black. The robbery, however, leads to murder, and soon Watty leaves Billy behind and goes on the run with his beloved girlfriend, Starlene.
Renée Zellweger (Nurse Betty), as far removed from her Bridget Jones persona as it is possible to get, plays Starlene, the girlfriend of small-time robber Watty Watts (Gil Bellows – Snow White: A Tale of Terror, Judas Kiss). Watts never takes a loaded gun into a robbery, but his druggy partner Billy Mack (Rory Cochrane) isn’t quite so careful and ends up shooting dead his girlfriend when she recognises him during a hold-up. Forced to go on the run after wounding an increasingly flaky Billy Mack, Watty and Starlene encounter a host of quirky characters during their flight.
It’s sort of ironic, the way some other reviewers accuse C. M. Talkington, the writer and director of this admittedly over-derivative lovers-on-the-run sub-genre, of ripping off Tarantino, given that the self-aggrandising Mr. T. has hardly had one original idea in his whole career. Tarantino’s gift is injecting his own distinctive style into other people’s scenarios and passing off the result as an homage. It’s quite incredible to think this has been working for him for twenty years now with hardly any dent to his reputation…
Anyway, Love and a .45 is clearly inspired by the kind of thing Tarantino does, but it at least has its own unique style and an identity separate from QT’s oeuvre. Despite all the violence, the film has a likability about it that is unexpected and possesses a manic energy that enables the audience to overlook some character inconsistencies. It’s a cartoon-ish kind of world, inhabited by larger-than-life characters who thoughtlessly use violence as a handy device to get them what they need, and as such it’s a world that couldn’t survive for long outside the confines of a Hollywood movie, but while we’re in it we are at least taken on an enjoyable ride and supplied with a vicarious thrill while remaining safely in front of our screens.
(Reviewed 21st February 2012)