Mikey’s review published on Letterboxd:
I used to love this when it first came out. One of those QT films I’ve grown very distant from. Not sure why. But I’ll try to explain my irrational reasoning. Not a bad film in the slightest. My rating tells me it is a very good film. For QT that’s a little below average. He’s going for the roaming western for the first quarter and then delves into the meat on the bone in the later half where DiCaprio brings the films rougher edges of comedic relief. This film felt like more of a comedy in this rewatch and I don’t think Tarantino is intentionally the funniest director. I thought he was delving into a stand up special on slavery. This overreaching take will no doubt upset anyone. I would have really liked to see Will Smith play Django as he could have brought the comedic aspect of the character to the forefront. This is not a slight on Foxx. He is great. Jamie Foxx is more of an action hero while I think there is a lot of very Tarantino centric jokes in here. And it desperately needs comedic relief like what DiCaprio brings to it as his character is a big joke. “Let’s keep it funny.”
The style of the film is QT moving out of a comfort zone. His needle drops are really out of place here I think apart from the violent end for violent means when Django goes all out on Candyland. The film should have began with Schultz and Django heading into Mississippi as the film plays like a sequel to a film series that only exists in the mind of Tarantino and no else. So, he makes up for it with an overly long passage of developing Django and Schultz’s character and relationship. Hateful Eight, originally a Django sequel is a clear example of that. Tarantino's films although connected by a universe or recurring cast members was never made to be part of a franchise. I still enjoy the simple structure with no chapters. More traditional spaghetti western.. and Fairy tale adventure mixing with genre. It would have been a unique Tarantino film if it was not for Hateful Eight which I think is better because of the fleshed drama and lack of a morale centre in every character.