Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Rated: R Run Time: 165 mins Genre: Drama/ Western
Opens December 25th
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com After the success of Inglorious Bastards, can Quentin Tarantino captivate audiences once more with his violent spaghetti western DJANGO unchained?
Set in 1858, we are introduced to Django as he's part of a chain gang, just sold at market and traveling to a new owner. Along the way, the caravan is intercepted by a traveling dentist, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) and his horse Fritz. Dr. Schultz has recently traded in his dental tools for that of legal papers, in the form of a warrant/ bounty and tracks down wanted men dead or alive. The pay is good, and Dr. King is in need of a certain slave that holds the key to finding his latest bounty. When Dr. King finds Django, he purchases him from the slaver holders, then setting him free on the spot, but with a condition. One he finds& captures his latest target, the. Django is a free man and may go his separate way. Django, bewildered by the offer accepts, thus going down into Texas to find 3 men that used to serve on the same plantation that he was sold from.
They find the men on a plantation owned by a man nicknamed "Big Daddy" (Don Johnson). While Dr. Schultz is touring the home with Big Daddy, Django finds the three men and out of a fit of rage, kills them all. The taste for blood and revenge has been whet, and now he wants more. Dr. Schultz makes an offer to Django; work with him for the winter and he can have a cut of the bounty and he will help find Django's wife, who was sold the same time as Django.
He agrees, and over the winter months, becomes more skilled in the realm of bounty hunting. They discover during that time that Django's wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) was sold to one of the largest plantations in Mississippi, Candieland, owned by the eccentric Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Together the men devise a plan that if all works in their favor, they will have saved Broomhilda and given the lovers their freedom. Upon arriving in Mississippi, the execution of their grand plan becomes riskier with each person they encounter, especially the head house slave, Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson). Stephen and Django are too much alike, so they immediately hate each other, making the situation even more challenging. Will they be able to save Broomhilda and gain their freedom or die trying?
This film follows the typical Tarantino formula: lots of violence, lots of witty, clever dialogue that drags on, a musical selection from the 1970's and excessive foul language. It's almost comical how you can time the pacing of the film to figure out how much longer the film has left as it follows the same pacing as inglorious Bastards. Christoph Waltz is phenomenal in the Dr. Strauss role as it is a psychopath with a heart of gold. Jamie Foxx plays the same old role as he does in his other action films, the cocky, arrogant hero that has no regard for anyone else and gets the girl in the end. Leonard DiCaprio was excellent in his role s evil plantation owner Calvin Candie, showing a side that is a mix of compassion, ridicule, bully and evil business man. Even Samuel L Jackson has tamed himself down a few notches and is not as scream heavy butt slings just as much n words as the next guy. What lost me was after awhile, I started to count how many times the "n" word is used, losing interest in the scene. Although this film covers a dark time in America's history, much of it was hard to watch, either from violence or vicious, cruel treatment of the slaves. Overall, "Django Unchained" is entertaining but not as good as “Inglorious Bastards”. Check out Django Unchained when it opens in theaters nationwide Christmas Day Tuesday December 21, 2012.