Thursday, 9 May 2013

Django Unchained - Phil's Five Words for Films

Django Unchained  Totally Tarantino. His take on the slave trade within pre-civil war America is awash with the director's outlandish style, machine gun banter and his obvious love of pulp cinema and spaghetti westerns. As with 'Inglorious Basterds', the controversial setting is designed to give Tarantino a cause to get his teeth in to and to allow him to head towards the ultimate, revenge bloodbath.  The first third of the film is gloriously absorbing and sets up an interesting cross-country manhunt and rescue mission as a bounty hunter teams up with a freed slave to track down some wanted men.  There are great performances from all concerned, Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Di Caprio, Samuel L Jackson and Kerry Washington all seem to revel in their roles of caricature and controversy but it is another brilliant performance by Christoph Waltz that really stands out.  His portrayal of Dr.King Schultz is cool, controlled and as dangerously spot-on as his character's gun slinging skills. Waltz is totally deserving of his Best Supporting Actor Oscar and the spark between him and Foxx is a joy to watch.  Eventually however, the film seems to get bogged down with dialogue and setting up the showdown. The problem with Tarantino is that he never seems to know where to draw a line. The final gunfight ( think 'Shaun of the Dead' plus 'From Dusk till Dawn'  in tone ) is overblown, cliche- splattered and far too long,  In Quentin world, some people are bulletproof whilst others explode like melons under a sledgehammer and, as my interest ebbed away I became aware of how much of my time was being taken up. The cause,motive and story became small considerations as the bullets began to fly. There then follows a 20 minute additional which seems totally unnecessary and appears to be there only to allow Quentin himself to make a trademark cameo, one in which he delivers the worst accent since Groundskeeper Willie whilst dragging the film over the 2hr 45min mark. Django Unchained is a mixed bag with splashes of brilliance. Edgy, controversial, affecting, in places amusing and a good 45mins too long - but going too far is what QT loves to do. Unrestrained.

7.5 out of 10
Cert 18 (uk)

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