Clobby Clobsters’s review published on Letterboxd:
Dr King Schultz: "How do you like the bounty hunting business?"
Django: "Kill white people and get paid for it? What's not to like?"
If I hadn't seen Inglourious Basterds beforehand, Django Unchained would've left me shocked. Here, Tarantino once again crafts an entertaining revenge tale. But this one follows a dentist/bounty hunter and freed slave as the latter fights against the American South to rescue his enslaved wife. There's blood, violence and lots of n-words, but it all fits within Tarantino's supposed idiosyncrasies. Now, don't let my rating fool you. Although I don't think this movie's story is revolutionary, I still find the experience uproariously entertaining!
The performances are remarkably comical and convincing. Jamie Foxx plays the nervous slave before coming into his own as the "Fastest Gun in the South" exceptionally. Christoph Waltz steals every scene he's in and is a treat. His character (Dr King Schultz) uses his multilingual talents, like in Inglourious Basterds, and is as comical as he is ruthless. DiCaprio, surprisingly, appears as a vile villain and provides a performance that will change how I see him forever. And Samuel L. Jackson is not playing Nick Fury—no, sir. His performance shows his range as a slimy house attendant, hell-bent on securing his position and misguided power. From Jamie Foxx to Samuel L. Jackson, Django Unchained is full of wide-ranging performances that bring Tarantino's characters to life.
Despite being a thrill-ride, the anti-slavery message rings distinctly. As slavers treat black people as pets, talk to them like kids and torture them like ants, they still wear the "civilised" facade around Django and Schulz throughout. Yet Schulz, a German, is against slavery and carries more sophistication than any American. As Django shoots slavers without hesitation—and loads of symbolism—he metaphorically shouts that these unjust systems must end. It's shocking to see the violence that ensues, but it's necessary—and quite the spectacle.
Dr King Schultz: "I wish to parley with you."
Dicky Speck: "Speak English."
Dr King Schultz: "Oh, I'm sorry, please forgive me. It is a second language."
To finish, I'll mention some more positives. Although the dialogue is hilarious and made me laugh out loud many times, Tarantino's cameo had me pointing and commenting the most. His Australian accent is so silly, and his departure, even more. Jonah Hill's appearance surprises, as he plays a white supremacist before you know what happens. I love the reaction shots from the dumbfounded townsfolk, watching Django ride his horse, or Schulz as he witnesses a terrible murder (for storytelling reasons). I also love the use of contemporary music and zoom-in close-ups. The rhythm and rap compliment the montages as the zoom-in close-ups make me smile.
My only negative is that the film is a bit too long. Now, I love the ending as much as the next guy, but after Django leaves Candyland, the film left me waiting for it to end. Now, I had a good time, but it's a bit long, that's all. It's almost three hours!
Django Unchained is a hilarious and crude revenge fantasy. It has a powerful message, potent performances and an affection for film. It satisfies my hunger after fasting on movies for a fortnight and entertains me sufficiently. Anyway, although my rating might seem harsh, I still adore this film, and it'll join my list of favourites.
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Calvin Candie: "Your boss looks a little green around the gills."
Django: "He just ain't used to seein' a man ripped apart by dogs is all."
Calvin Candie: "But you are used to it?"
Django: "I'm just a little more used to Americans than he is."