What to say if you liked it
Quentin Tarantino gets his hands on the classy crime drama and twists it around into a dark thriller
What to say if you disliked it
Quentin Tarantino gets his hands on the classy crime drama and turns out the most predictable storyline ever
What was good about it?
• The cheery preamble to the grizzly story of Nick Stokes’ kidnapping. Nick drove around singing jaunty country song It Was Christmas In Las Vegas, Greg and David played a Dukes of Hazzard boardgame and Grissom came out as a fan of Roy Rogers and Trigger the Wonder Horse.
• The claustrophobic scenes of Nick (brilliantly played by George Eads) buried in a glass coffin with oxygen running out and fire ants eating him alive, all available to view by his horrified colleagues via a webcam link. It was the most nightmarish thing we’ve seen on TV since Jennie Bond was buried with rats on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! (exclusing all appearances by Neil Fox, of course).
• Tarantino refuses to rush. While CSI usually ties up a couple of cases in an hour, this took two hours to reach the climax when, thanks to Grissom’s knowledge of insects (and the solenopsis invicta in particular), Nick is rescued from his scary grave.
• Dialogue such as Grissom asking the kidnapper: “Are you a terrorist?” “It depends,” the villain replies. “Only if you are terrified.”
• Outside Chance by the Turtles – a brilliant song which turned up on a tape used to taunt the CSIs with lyrics such as “Stone walls surround me, I’m surprised that you even found me / and you don’t stand an outside chance.”
• The cameo by Frank Gorshin, who played The Riddler in Batman
• The black and white fantasy sequence in which Nick sees the pathologists cutting open his body with a chainsaw. “He had a good heart,” says the pathologist as he holds up the organ.
What was bad about it?
• The motivation of the kidnapper (revenge for his daughter’s imprisonment) lacked plausibility, especially as he resorted to steamroller-to-crack-a-nut tactics. And Nick’s meeting with the imprisoned woman in the final scene was probably meant to be poignant but just seemed unnecessary.
• Nick’s upper-crust parents who failed to elicit any sympathy. We’d have preferred a bit more of a tearjerker.
• Tony Curtis looking like an old Brighton queen in his cameo role.
• The sight of a dog’s stomach lying in the road.