Now Playing: Tarantino’s ‘Unchained’ Blaxploitation Western

Quentin Tarantino is back at it again, mixing genres and re-writing history, all while purposefully touching on taboo topics and using blatantly inappropriate dialogue. Don’t expect another Best Picture contender here, but ‘Django Unchained’ is a fun, bloody, wordy, cool and unpredictable QT flick.

As he did in ‘Inglourious Basterds‘, Christoph Waltz opens this Tarantino film with a commanding performance. But instead of playing a menacing villain, he plays Dr. King Schultz, a kind and cruel German dentist-turned-bounty-hunter who’s determined to track down a trio of murderous brothers. The only problem: No living being knows what the brothers look like – that is, no one except Django (Jamie Foxx).

Django is a slave who was recently separated from his wife. Both were sold to different slave traders and have no way of knowing where the other is. The film opens when Schultz gives Django his freedom and asks him for help in obtaining a massive bounty. In return, Django will get a portion of the earnings and will remain a free man. Because Django proves to be a valuable sidekick, Schultz offers him a full-time job, a pay raise and a promise to help find and free his wife (Kerry Washington).

The first act of the film is all about Django’s training and his partnership with Schultz. The second act introduces their plan to free Django’s wife from the most notorious plantation owner in the South, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). The final act is all about obtaining freedom.

Coming off the success of the critically acclaimed and self-proclaimed “masterpiece” ‘Inglourious Basterds’, ‘Django’ may throw a lot of its audience for a loop. Although I loved ‘Django,’ it’s no ‘Inglourious’. Without shame, through and through, it’s a ’70s-style blaxploitation flick. Any and all white men (or women) who oppress Django and his wife will fall victim to his unmerciful vengeance – and it’s brilliant.

I hate to give too much away, but I have to give credit where it’s due. One scene in ‘Django Unchained’ is easily the most hilarious of any movie I’ve seen this year. I won’t say much, but it involves a bunch of KKK members complaining – and it made me cry from laughter.

‘Django Unchained’ is brutal, relentless, dialogue driven, graphically violent and (most importantly) absolutely entertaining.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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