HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: Jamie Foxx Rides in Quentin Tarantino’s Incredibly Fun ‘Django Unchained’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” has some undeniable pleasures, the kind that erupt from the screenwriting abilities of one of the best movie scribes alive. Tarantino’s way with words and plotting are as honed as ever and he directs his super-talented cast to enjoyable performances all around. His reboot of the “Django” character is smart, funny, action-packed, and remarkably stylized. It’s also a tad too long, containing a few scenes that should have been left on the cutting room floor, which could have resulted in a more streamlined masterpiece instead of merely a heck of a lot of fun.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

A chain gang of slaves crosses a wintery plain. Among them is a man named Django (Jamie Foxx), who is bought in the opening scene by Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a bounty hunter masquerading as a dentist. He feels guilty about buying a slave, a practice in which he doesn’t believe, but he needs Django’s help finding three men who Schultz has been assigned to bring to justice. After that assignment ends successfully, Schultz agrees to help Django reunite with his true love, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), who has been purchased by the notorious Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, and Don Johnson co-star in small but crucial roles.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Django Unchained” in our reviews section.

In many ways, “Django Unchained” is Tarantino’s most straightforward script. It doesn’t have the chronological jumps that have in many ways defined his style and its plot is relatively simple – two men devise a plan to save a slave in the name of love. On this simple structure, Tarantino works wonders with theme and dialogue. Candie is a fan of mandingo fighting, pitting his biggest slaves up against each other in fights that often result in death. This manipulative scumbag so well-played against type by DiCaprio is getting entertainment out of slaves in turmoil. Which is arguably what Tarantino is doing as a filmmaker as well.

It’s just one example of how “Django Unchained” is one of those films that works on multiple levels, either as pure escapist entertainment or as something deeper. Much has been made of Tarantino’s copious use of the n-word but don’t think that “Django” isn’t a complex examination of race and identity. It features some daring tonal shifts that make the brutality of the action feel more honest than a lot of Tarantino’s movies. In the final, incredible scenes at Candie Land, easily the peak of the film and some of the best scenes of the year, everyone on-screen is hiding something from Django pretending to be a mandingo expert to Broomhilda pretending she doesn’t know him to Samuel L. Jackson’s memorable turn as a loyal butler with plenty to hide. No one is really who they purport to be and Tarantino has a blast here in something that plays not unlike an extended version of the best scene in the bar in “Inglourious Basterds.”

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Django Unchained” review.

“Django Unchained” stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Dennis Christopher, and Walton Goggins. It was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It will be released on December 25, 2012.

Django Unchained
Django Unchained
Photo credit: The Weinstein Company

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web


User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kingpin Blu-ray

    CHICAGO – Before 1998’s “The Big Lebowski” there was 1996’s “Kingpin”, the Farrelly brothers bowling comedy that didn’t have the narrative intricacies of the Coen brothers’ classic, but had plenty of jokes about middle-aged men playing the sport. Today finds the release of “Kingpin” to Blu-ray for the first time, coming with only one new special feature.

  • Star Trek Into Darkness

    CHICAGO – With J.J. Abrams not involved with the creation of a third “Star Trek” movie, a compendium of his work within the franchise only seems fitting. Loaded with special features but only a few new ones, this disc set is a strong choice for those who don’t already have both entertaining blockbusters in their collection.

Advertisement


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
tracker