Thursday, December 27, 2012

Django Unchained: A Review


Dr. King Schulz: How do you like the bounty-hunting business? 
Django: Kill white people and get paid for it? What's not to like? 

Tonight Yours Truly went to see Quentin Tarantino's DJANGO UNCHAINED starring Jamie Foxx, Christopher Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Samuel L. Jackson, and I am pleased to report that the film is a fun ride...for about the first two thirds of the movie.  In Django, Foxx, a slave, and Waltz, a dentist turned bounty hunter, team up to take down bad guys and free Django's (Foxx) wife (an epic adventure according Tarantino).  And for about two hours the audience has a rip roaring good time as Foxx plays the straight man alongside Christopher Waltz's witty banter.  We were loving it right up until the point Tarantino offed Schulz and forced the audience to watch a forty minute humorless blood bath.  Below you will find my Top Three Issues with Django Unchained. (Warning: Contains Spoilers)

1.) Overcomplicated Plot Line: Can ANYONE tell me why the hell Tarantino has Django and Schulz, who spent all winter making THOUSANDS of dollars, go through an elaborate scheme that involved pretending to buy a slave for $12,000 in order to really buy Django's wife, Brunhilda, for $300?  DiCaprio's character, who owns Django's wife, has no special attachment to Brunhilda so why not offer an exorbitant price for her and be done with it?  The answer I suppose is that  wasn't epic enough for Tarantino so he left a giant hole in the plot for his audience to brood over.  Oh, and he wanted to off Schulz and couldn't find any other way to do so.

2.) Stereotyping: Seriously folks, Spike Lee might be right here.  Tarantino borders on offensive.  For example, in the movie, Samuel L. Jackson plays DiCaprio's house slave, a man so morally corrupt and evil I will have nightmares about him for years.  No seriously people, Old Quentin has taken the stereotype of the obedient slave and turned it on its head making Jackson the evil mastermind and DiCaprio his puppet. We hate Samson, Jackson's character, who seems to hate all black people in general. Perhaps Tarantino meant to use Jackson for shock value but outside of Django and Brunhilda his other black characters are also either morally corrupt or completely soulless or simply unmoving.  On the opposite end, outside of Waltz's character all Tarantino's white characters are both blood thirsty and completely moronic.  Really and truly the stereotyping became so distracting I wanted to yell: "Quentin have you EVER heard of nuance?"

3.) Blood Bathes: The last forty five minutes of Django is so over the top with balls being blown off and heads exploded that I was reminded of Sam Raimi's ARMY OF DARKNESS.  Now, that would be okay if Tarantino simply wanted to call his film a parody.  But, I think if you asked Quentin he'd take the work much more seriously.  However that's not possible because by the end of the film the blood bath had lost all symbolism and become ridiculous to the point of stupid.  Also, I just doubt that heads really splat like that.  Just sayin!

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