All Brian De Palma ever does is turn in shallow remakes of another artist's work. Blowout is just a superficial remake of Blowup (1966), Scarface is a remake of Howard Hawk's original, The Untouchables is taken from well The Untouchables TV show, Mission Impossible is from the TV show & Body Double was just a depressingly woeful revision of Hitchcock's Rear Window and Vertigo. No wonder he's Tarantino's inspiration.
With CARRIE, De Palma was a show-off. A delicious show-off. With BLOW OUT, De Palma uses his look-at-me arsenal of tricks and treats to craft a zippy thriller that wades through a world of paranoia and political horror. Through its mosaic of 70s political scandal headlines, BLOW OUT attains a kind of psychedelic realism, blending everything from that decade that proved paranoia was a reasonable emotion.
I love De Palma's personal handling of the camera like we're not allowed to see as in the beginning where we're watching a movie at Jack's work. But although the movie starts very intriguing and exciting the story goes into free fall and some decisions (so the movie works) are just sloppy, like that regretful ending. Nothing here unless the soundtrack can be compared to "The Conversation" by Coppola.
Decent but disappointing compared to De Palmas other well known mystery thriller Dressed to Kill, released one year before. This in someway makes it a typical De Palma film for me: It seems to have everything that should have the same punch as the couple of great ones he made, but in the end just delivers a nudge.
As much as it pains me I have to agree with Tarantino. In the Scorsese/Coppola pack of directors, De Palma stands much taller than the rest. The film is about a sound editor, so it should be no shock that the sound in the film is nothing but flawless. I particularly loved the scene where Jack was recreating the crime in his head.. nothing like sinking your teeth into some De Palma. And who knew Travolta could act?!
Not De Palma's best, a little dated here and there and Allen's character annoyed the hell out of me, but a good and very entertaining thriller. Fairly reminiscent of earlier work at points, which was nice to see, and Travolta is good here. Nothing special, but a fun conspiracy story. 3.5/5