Django is a slave freed by Dr. Schultz,
a German bounty hunter/ ex-dentist, to track down three wanted men that Django knows what they look like. They form a partnership beyond that and Schultz promises to help Django get his wife Hildie (short
for Broomhilde) back from brutal slave owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
DJANGO UNCHAINED isn’t a masterpiece
by any means. It is an overlong and over indulgent homage to Spaghetti
Westerns directed by Quentin Tarantino. The movie is inspired by the Django films
and Tarantino has re-imagined the character as a black bounty hunter played by Jamie Fox.
Fox isn’t a bad actor, but he is overshadowed by better actors in this film like Samuel L. Jackson (as an evil
black house slave) and Christoph Waltz (Dr. Schultz) who is easily the best character of the whole movie (and in THE INGLOURIOUS
BASTERDS). I liked the way the movie comes alive when Django and Schultz interact. DJANGO UNCHAINED does have one of the bloodiest shoot outs since THE WILD BUNCH.
However, Tarantino thinks the movie
is perfect at this length and he is even considering putting together a longer cut (and the Weinstein Company wanted him to
release DJANGO UNCHAINED as two movies). I do think there is a better movie
hidden in this overlong mess if Tarantino took the time to edit the film down by thirty minutes. Since he didn’t trim the movie down, we get a movie that has a personality crisis. It is trying to be a Spaghetti Western at times, and then it either tries to be a Spaghetti western
music montage or seems to come off as a docudrama of plantation life and the life of black slaves. Due to Tarantino deciding not wanting to trim the fat, the movie starts to drag after an hour of
setting up the partnership between Shultz and Django before digging down into the overlong quest to rescue Django’s
wife from Candieland.
The two Tarantino films I consider to be
his best work are RESEVOIR DOGS and THE INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. DJANGO UNCHAINED
is an OK film, but it isn’t one of Tarantino’s best films due to it being overlong and QT not giving the film
more of a clear identity instead of trying so hard to have it come off as a homage.
Maybe I will see the movie in a different light with a repeat viewing, but currently I see it as a little long and
This movie review is (c)12-25-2012
David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments