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Review: Django Unchained

django-unchained-2

A note on the ‘controversy’; there’s is no controversy. It’s bullshit, written because shitty journalists are full of horse shiiiet and need a story. The use of the word ‘nigger’ is entirely appropriate in the context of the film, and it’s ridiculous to try and expunge a word like that from a work of fiction. The usage in the film isn’t even gratuitous – the characters would probably talk like that. It would be painfully sanitized if they’d said some modern equivalent. So, on with the review…

Django Unchained is pretty good. It’s not incredible, but there’s some cool dialogue, some funny scenes and some badass action. If it wasn’t Tarantino, it wouldn’t have anywhere near the hype. There’s also a frequent juxtaposition of high society and the utter brutality the slaves are subjected to throughout the flick. It’s way too fucking long though. 165 minutes and it tells a single, simple story. Pulp Fiction told about six intertwined tales, and was ten minutes shorter. The crucial difference is that you don’t notice the length in Pulp Fiction, but Django drraaags towards the third act. It’s a staple of the genre to draw out the tension in certain scenes, but fuck that, tastes have changed. We’re all hopped up on double shot red eye espressos so move the plot along and conclude in a timely fashion, Quentin.

The plot is pretty simple – Jamie Fox, a slave, wants to free his wife and kill slavers. Christoph Waltz wants hella dough for bounty hunting, and they team up for mutual benefit. The film really excels at carefully measured dialogue between Foxxx, Waltz and their various adversaries. Wordplay and tension within a scene is something the Q-man has always excelled at. Any scene with Waltz pretty much kicks ass, although Foxx certainly has his moments. Leonardo DiCaprio appears at some point and ain’t half bad, mixing brutality and comedy – much like the film as a whole. Samuel L. Jackson further proves that not only is he a damn fine actor who’s actively fun to watch on screen, he’s still a bad motherfucker in real life. Incidentally, when Q-Tizzle tries the same thing he kinda comes off looking like a teenager who you’ve asked about the suspicious stains on his bedsheets. In addition to numerous fine performances, Django is shot in a variety of rugged locations, for which I’m a total sucker (although ‘True Grit’ is the go-to modern western for landscape pr0n). There are points when the music is perfectly pitched – such as the opening song “Django Theme Song” and other times when it feels overbearing. The appearance of a Rick Ross song (the former correctional officer turned baby-eating rapper who occasionally sports a necklace of HIS OWN FACE,  is a little whacked, but almost works. To summarize; it’s pretty good but there are better offerings (killingthemsoftly killingthemsoftly killingthemsoftly).

GRADE C+

Mild spoilers ahoy!

The end is as dumb as all hell After the first 90% of the film is carefully measured, with tension drawn out, within a scene and throughout the narrative, the end says ‘fuck that noise’ and descends into goofy cartoonish blood. That might be a cathartic release to some, but it came off as dumb and tacked on.

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Comments

  1. Yeah, it’s long like all of Tarantino’s movies but it’s always fun, always original, and always throwing something new and improved at us. Good review.

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