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Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

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Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is a perfectly fine 90-minute movie hidden inside an overlong mess that drags on for 159 minutes, which for some reason Quentin Tarantino and Sony saw fit to release in its current, barely explainable form.

The story is set at the end of the sixties and concerns aging Hollywood star Rick Dalton, who is afraid of losing his mojo, and his stuntman Cliff Booth, a man who once beat Bruce Lee to a pulp and has probably killed his own wife. This is all what we learn about the two men during the first, especially tiresome half of the movie, which takes its sweet time introducing character tropes we've been familiar with, and exhausted by, for years now.

The archetype of the American upper-class male going through a midlife crisis is not something we need a lengthy introduction to. Yet we get it here, with an otherwise stellar Leonardo DiCaprio moping about his character's past movies and fading relevance scene after scene, surrounded by an equally outstanding supporting cast featuring Al Pacino, Damian Lewis and Kurt Russell in glorified cameos.

The film is more fun when stuntman Cliff is in the foreground, as he is the precursor to our brief encounters with the Manson family, whose yet-to-be most famous victim, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) lives next door to Rick. The two posses will inevitably collide on the fateful night of 8 August, 1969.

It would have been nice to get to this point without watching Tarantino indulge himself in self-serving nostalgia, countless shots of women's legs and in the minds of characters who we never get close enough to to actually start liking. The golden age of Hollywood thus ends with a yawn.

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