The critics may like it - but I didn't
- Django Unchained review by RP
This film won 2 Oscars and 2 BAFTAs, has an IMDB score of 8.5 (July 2013) and 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it must be good, eh? Well, I didn't like it :(
Directed by Quentin Tarantino who has a stellar reputation as a director for mixing humour (well, satirical scriptwriting anyway) often about 'unfunny' situations and with explicit violence. This is typical of his work - only this time I really didn't find it amusing at all. Yes, there's lots of trademark gun violence and bloodshed, but I was left profoundly disappointed - from the awards and they hype I was expecting something better.
The story is told in a typical Tarantino disjointed style, with unbelievable scenarios and characters. In outline, it's this: set in pre-Civil War southern USA, a German bounty hunter masquerading as a travelling dentist (King Schultz, played by Christoph Walz) frees a slave (Django, played by Jamie Foxx) to help in tracking down three wanted brothers. It is revealed that the baddies have whipped Django's wife (who just happens to be fluent in German), and after eliminating them bounty hunter + Django seek her out and attempt to free her by tricking her new owner, a baddy plantation owner (Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio). Much gunfire ensues with bucket loads of blood splashed everywhere.
This storyline is ridiculous, and while the viewer may be carried along by the flow of the film any attempt to sit back and analyse it reveals just how silly it is. And the repeated attempts at 'humor', often in a current-day tongue-in-cheek style, come across as false and patronising as does the repeated use of 'nigger' which while historically accurate would seem to hold some peculiar fascination for Mr Tarantino.
I'll give it 2/5 stars. And did I say that I didn't like it?
2 out of 5 members found this review helpful.
Overlong, boring, silly movie from an over-rated B-movie director
- Django Unchained review by PV
Another movie that proves that Quentin Tarantino is a B-movie schlock director, whose films are just derivative mash-ups of 1970s Spaghetti westerns and Kung Fu fight scenes.
I disliked this movie - though I had no issue with the use of the N word (and anyone who does, like the African American pity party industry is just deliberately seeking offence for their own ends; in fact, if anything, the brutality against slaves is massively exaggerated - did slaves really fight to the death in the drawing rooms of Southern Plantations? The dates are also vague here...);
I hated the Kung Fu style fights (with silly sound effects), the cod spaghetti western 1960s/70s titles, the ridiculous scenes etc. However, the acting is fine and there are some good scenes - which are then spoilt when Tarantino just has to have shoot-em-up BORING!
This film is also VERY long and feels it; the story should have ended after the scene with Di Caprio's Southern landowner. Good place to end and have resolution. But oh no, hack B-movie director Quentin hadn't had enough blood and guns, so we get another half an hour or more of pointless story arcs.
1.5 stars rounded up.
This movie and those like it deserve no awards whatsoever - unless there is an award for being derivative and boring.
2 out of 8 members found this review helpful.
Not light viewing
- Django Unchained review by CK
Although I adore Tarantino's first 3 directorial offerings I do not like any of the later ones. Having read the previous reviews I really did not expect to enjoy this but I am giving this a 5 as it really is a good film. It is not however, a lightweight, feel good movie. It is a movie that rather makes me wish those sci fi offerings claiming a brutal alien race has disguised themselves as humans were true.
All the usual Tarantino light touches are there. The little boys fantasy gunfight, the one liners and the situation comedy. The KKK scene is hysterical. The story plotline is faultless and the actors are totally believable. The suffering of the slaves is in your face from the moment the film opens and does not get easier. The brutality and sadistic delight of the slave owners and handlers is a mere fact of life at the time. It still goes on, which makes this even more unbearable. Sadly the powerful will never comprehend that fine clothes and trinkets may make the man as far as shallow perception is concerned but that is not what makes a worthwhile human being. I sadly will never be able to erase from my memory the hot box or the fights to the death. The same holds for Candy's anger that his $500 fighter is a broken man after winning 3 of these fights when he expects 5 fights for his money. The fighter is torn to pieces by the dogs.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.