Django Unchained

Django Unchained ★★★★½

Well, one thing is for certain. Spike Lee is going to be pissed!
Seriously, I've never heard the "n word" used so frequently in all my life.

Anyway, on to the film. For me this is Tarantino's best since Pulp Fiction, it's not perfect, but it's not far off.
The story is a very straightforward one, a slave and a bounty hunter team up to rescue the slaves wife from the clutches of an evil plantation owner. Ok there's a little bit more to it then that but that is essentially the gist.
Although a western this is very much a Tarantino film, from the cracking dialogue littered throughout, the explosive and extremely bloody violence, the forgotten actors given a chance to shine (take a bow Don Johnson), an eclectic and bizarre soundtrack that shouldn't work but does and another superb Samuel L Jackson performance, if you are a Tarantino fan you will not be disappointed. However Quentin is also ivolving as a film-maker. His movies have always had a sense of humour, albeit a dark one, but there is one scene in here that see's Tarantino flex his comedy muscles like never before. The lynching scene where the posse discuss the eye holes in the hoods is the funniest thing he's ever written, genuinely laugh out loud funny and I for one would love to see Quentin try his hand at a flat out comedy some time in the future.
Also on display is what I think is Tarantino's single greatest action scene committed to film, and that's a bold statement when you consider the quality of the fight scenes in Kill Bill. However the shoot out in Candie Land is stunning, bloody, violent, tense and also hilarious, it's a wonderfully constructed scene and its worth seeing the film just for this.
All the performances are top class but it's Samuel L Jackson who steals the film with his performance as Stephen the creepy and sadistic house slave.
The film does have its faults, the pacing seems a little off in the middle, in particular a crucial scene of exposition seems oddly placed, a strange choice when it turns out to be pivotal to the end of the film. Also Quentin decides to put himself in the picture and although he's there only briefly and his exit is spectacular, his appearance is distracting. Finally there's the ending, or rather double ending.
The gunfight at Candie Land would have made for a fantastic climax however the film continues for another 20 or so minutes after this and it just felt to me like a little bit of self-indulgence on Tarantino's part.
These though are minor complaints as Django Unchained is one of the most purely entertaining films I have ever seen.
Just read this back and can't believe I didn't mention Christoph Waltz, as usually, he's fantastic.

Joel liked this review