Django Unchained

"Excellent"

Django Unchained Review


Tarantino takes an unusually comical approach to a provocative topic, and the result is as controversial as expected. And also startlingly hilarious. At its core, this is another revenge-themed thriller, but Tarantino's snappy, constantly surprising aproach spirals out to explore racial issues over the past 150 years with humour, drama and, of course, grisly violence.

Set two years before the American Civil War in 1858 Texas, the story centres on bounty hunter Schultz (Waltz), who offers the slave Django (Foxx) what seems like a fantasy job: to work with him to capture white criminals dead or alive. Usually dead. Sure enough, everyone is shocked to see a black man not only riding a horse but carrying a gun. When Django helps find three notorious outlaw brothers, he earns his freedom, and Schultz then offers to help free Django's enslaved wife (Washington). This involves staging an elaborate sting on her owner, the bloodthirsty Mississippi plantation owner Calvin (DiCaprio), who runs a ring of slaves who fight each other to the death. But Calvin's butler Stephen (Jackson) suspects that something is up.

Waltz and Foxx have terrific chemistry in the central roles, with Waltz's lively intelligence bouncing off Foxx's physical and emotional intensity. This gives the film an underlying drive that keeps us engaged through the blood-soaked violence as well as the more slapstick-style sequences (a KKK raid led by Johnson and Hill feels like a lost sequence from Blazing Saddles). But Tarantino's screenplay is beautifully constructed to even out the tone with exciting action, harrowing nastiness and some darkly involving drama. All while quietly exploring the twisted history of racial relations in America.

And it's in the telling details that the film gets under our skin, creating complex characters and re-casting history to challenge our preconceptions. The movie might feel a bit lightweight as it veers randomly from cheesy comedy to grisly horror, but Tarantino is playing with cinema history as well, referencing movies that have tackled these issues along the way. This includes giving several where-are-they-now actors (including Christopher and Wopat) a chance to shine in well-written side roles. And it also lets DiCaprio and Jackson deliver terrific support as against-type characters. A dazzling ride.

Rich Cline



Django Unchained

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 165 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 25th December 2012

Box Office USA: $162.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $162.8M

Budget: $100M

Distributed by: The Weinstein Co.

Production compaines: The Weinstein Company, Columbia Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 217 Rotten: 30

IMDB: 8.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Pilar Savone,

Starring: as Django, as Dr. King Schultz, as Calvin Candie, as Broomhilda von Shaft, Samuel L. Jackson as Stephen, as Billy Crash, as Leonide Moguy, as Ace Speck, as Spencer Gordon Bennet, as The LeQuint Dickey Mining Co. Employee, as Big John Brittle, as Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly, David Steen as Mr. Stonesipher, Dana Gourrier as Cora, Nichole Galicia as Sheba, Ato Essandoh as D'Artagnan, as Rodney, Escalante Lundy as Big Fred, Miriam F. Glover as Betina, as Amerigo Vessepi, as Dicky Speck, as U.S. Marshall Gill Tatum, as Sheriff Bill Sharp, as Son of a Gunfighter, as Bag Head #2, as Tracker, as Tracker, James Parks as Tracker, as The LeQuint Dickey Mining Co. Employee, as Le Quint Dickie Mining Company Employee

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.