Django Unchained ★★★★★

"Hey little troublemaker."
"Hey big troublemaker."

Jackie Brown has gradually become the Tarantino movie I admire the most, but for my money, Django Unchained almost overtakes it in the department of pure enjoyability. A gripping crusade through the pre-emancipation South, it's a spaghetti western riff buoyed by an Oscar-winning screenplay, career-best performances (notably from Jamie Foxx and Sam Jackson), and an absolutely unbreakable soundtrack.

Controversially, Unchained depicts horrific atrocities towards African-Americans, while simultaneously revelling in the sensationalistic retribution Django directs at his white oppressors. This uneasy mixture of realistic cruelty and fantasy violence perturbed many, but I think the former is portrayed with appropriate gravitas, and I find the latter incredibly stimulating and cathartic. Call me simple, but who doesn't want to see some racist bastards get their heads blown off, or be flayed with their own whip? Since we can't do it in real life, seeing it splattered across a cinema screen will suffice.

On a more serious note, people may criticise Tarantino for his overuse of the N word - for obvious reasons - but you've got to give him props for Django Unchained. He literally devoted an entire movie to the systematic demolition (both ideologically and tangibly) of white supremacy, from its faux sophistication to its idiotic notions of biological superiority. Because if anyone needs to be ridiculed, it's a bunch of losers wearing bags on their heads.

"The D is silent, hillbilly."

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