Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” takes us back to the year, 1858, two years before the Civil War. I appreciate any attempt to bring back Westerns. It’s a genre ripe for a resurgence. The setting works: A bounty hunter (Christof Waltz) teams up with a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx) to capture criminals & ultimately help find & free Django’s slave wife. (Kerry Washington)
There are excellent scenes within the film. You’ll enjoy textbook Tarantino dialogue exchanges. Leonardo DiCaprio turns in an excellent performance as a savvy & sinister slave owner, the callus Calvin Candie.
As a whole however, this wasn’t one of my favorite Tarantino films. Going back a few years, ‘Inglourious Basterds’ was utterly brilliant. The Hans Landa character played by Christof Waltz, in my opinion, should have remained inside the world of ‘Inglourious Basterds.’ Instead, I kept seeing Hans resurface in ‘Django Unchained.’ I know everyone else did too, but won’t admit it. Let’s compare. In ‘Basterds’ he was dubbed ‘The Jew Hunter.’ Here he’s The Bounty Hunter. For some reason I can’t explain, he also hails from Germany. Oh, & he speaks at least (3) languages, just like Hans Landa.
This is just nit-picking now. Why do certain directors always feel compelled to hurl themselves into their own movie? It stymies me. Why does Quentin do this? My first thought every time I see him onscreen in one of his own films is: What is Quentin doing? It catapults me out of the movie! No one in Hollywood will admit this. They all want to work on one of his movies. I’m not an actor. So again I ask Quentin, Why insist? Why?
Final note, “Django Unchained” is still better than 85% of what’s out in theaters. It’s worth watching. You can follow me on Twitter @leoquinones