Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89% (Critics) / 94% (Audience)
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Written By: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson
Studio: The Weinstein Co.
Synopsis: Set in the South two years before the Civil War, Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago. Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), Candie’s trusted house slave.
I love a good violent revenge movie and DJANGO UNCHAINED delivers greatly in that regard. The level of violence in this movie is not for the feint of heart with the death being brutally graphic.
I also was impressed by the performances of Christoph Walz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson. Walz was delightful as the dentist turned bounty hunter who found the slave trade distasteful and set out to asset Django in his quest. DiCaprio was really good as the outwardly genteel Calvin Candy who had a truly evil heart lurking (not very far) beneath the surface. And Jackson took what could have been a really cartoonish role and made it one of the more complex characters in the film.
I also enjoyed the small roles and cameos that were peppered throughout the film from Luke Duke as a small town marshall to Don Johnson’s hilarious turn as Big Daddy.
This aint the movie to point to if you are looking for examples of strong women. Kerry Washington had the largest female role in the film and she never really was a fully realized character but rather an extension of the men she was involved with.
I hate directors who put themselves into their movies. I don’t like it when Spike Lee does it or when M. Night Shyamalan does it and I hate it when Tarantino does. It didn’t help matters that he cast himself as an Australian and proceeded to do such a crappy accent. Cut it out…I am sure there are a boat load of out of work Australian actors who would have killed every dingo in the Outback for a role in this movie.
Final Verdict: A fun, violent take on the spaghetti western deftly written and directed by Quentin Tarantino with many strong performances by an able cast of actors who all seemed to be having a lot of fun. Don’t let the overblown controversy (and I personally agree with Dick Gregory’s take on the whole thing) keep you from seeing it because it is worth the ticket price. B