Django Unchained is off the Chain (excuse the pun)

Django Unchained

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington

When it comes to a Quentin Tarantino movie I am alway excited to see what he will do next. Every movies of his is always something fresh and exciting, even Death Proof which I’ll admit is not his best movie. When I heard that he was doing a straight forward Western instead of having western themes and homages I was ecstatic and was instantly anticipating the movie almost as much as I was The Dark Knight Rises. What I have to give the movie credit for is that it didn’t disappoint me in anyway at all, the movie is a deep look at what a man would do to get his wife back and how he goes about doing it.

A former slave and a German bounty hunter become unlikely allies in the battle against a tyrannical plantation owner in this western from visionary director Quentin Tarantino. Two years before the Civil War pits brother-against-brother, German-born fugitive hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy Award-winner Christoph Waltz) arrives in America determined to capture the outlaw Brittle brothers dead or alive. In the midst of his search, Dr. Schultz crosses paths with Django (Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx), a freed slave and skilled tracker who seeks to rescue his beloved wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from ruthless plantation owner Calvin Candie (Academy Award-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio). Once Django has aided Dr. Schultz in coralling the Brittle brothers, the two team up to capture some of the most wanted men in the South. Meanwhile, Django never loses sight of his mission to free Broomhilda from the treacherous slave trade before it’s too late. Upon arriving at Candie’s nefarious plantation, dubbed Candyland, Django and Dr. Schultz discover that slaves are being groomed for gladiator-like competitions by Candie’s malevolent right-hand man Billy Crash (Walton Goggins), and together they skillfully work their way onto the compound for a closer look. But just as Django and his partner locate Broomhilda and plot a daring escape, Candie’s house slave Stephen (Academy Award-nominee Samuel L. Jackson) catches wind of their plan, and informs his master of the betrayal. Now, as a clandestine organization attempts to back them into a corner, Django and Dr. Schultz will have to come out with pistols blazing if they ever hope to free Broomhilda from Candyland and the clutches of its vile proprietor.

What I have to say is the most admirable about the movie is the performances. Every actor in the movie is fantastic. Jamie Foxx bring layers to the character of Django and makes him a very human character in a movie by a director who’s characters  are always out there. It is the first time since Ray and Collateral that I appreciate what Jamie Foxx brings to the screen. The same goes for Christoph Waltz, who has been in a string of bad movies after winning his first Academy Award. His character is charismatic and likable and never has a dull moment on screen and he also manages to outshine Jamie Foxx. The two best performances in my opinion are Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel Jackson who both play the villains. This is the first time that Leo has portrayed a villain and I have to say that I’ve never seen him better, he feel comfortable in the role and manages to shock and intimidate while also being charismatic. I would really like to see Leo tackle more roles like this, it would be interesting to witness him as a more fearful character. Sam Jackson is equally as good and manages to make a character so loathsome and despicable that it is hard not to hate him. I think that Jackson should do more movies like this instead of the crap that he has done recently. I would like to see all these actors get nominated but the fact is that they won’t and I think Leonardo DiCaprio stands the only chance of winning.

Personally I think this is also Tarantino’s best film, I am a giant fan of Westerns and this is no exception. I felt that the story turned out a lot better than I expected, it may be a simple revenge story but the execution is simply perfection. The cinematography is beautiful and editing is also fantastic, I feel that this is the best one out of his filmography. I may be in the minority here but I think this outshines Pulp Fiction as his defining movie even though Pulp Fiction is a close second.

I think this has to be the best movie of the year and that it was a great way to end a fantastic year at the movies. Sure it is going to be tough to watch due to its explicit violence and constant use of the “N” word but I don’t think that should get in the way of a fantastic film.

10 out of 10

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