Review: Django Unchained (2012, dir. Quentin Tarantino)

Django Unchained

„I like the way you die, boy.“

„Django Unchained“ is Quentin Tarantinos weakest movie to date.

Considering how insanely high he raised the bar in the past and therefore our expectations, this doesn’t necessarily mean that his blaxploitation western is a bad movie. As a matter of fact, it is a very good one and even has quite a few scenes that are superior to some of his earlier work. Taken as a whole, however, I can’t come to any other conclusion than the one stated above.

On the plus side, „Django“ has plenty of Tarantinoesque elements that we’ve come to love ever since a bunch of gangsters in suits had a discussion about Madonna over breakfast. The countless references, the carefully selected soundtrack, the witty dialogue, the over-the-top violence – it’s all there. Also – and that may be the film’s biggest strength – Tarantino gathered a stellar cast with stand-out performances by Leo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and – of course – Christoph Waltz.

My main issue with „Django Unchained“ is the repetition that becomes painfully obvious as the movie reaches its third and final act (and starts to feel somewhat drawn-out). Quentin Tarantino basically invented the concept of innovation through remixing and referencing, yet, with „Django“ he seems to opt for just more of the same. Hell, even Christoph Waltz – whose Oscar win is nonetheless well-deserved as he steals practically every scene that he’s in – plays a mere variation of his Hans Landa character from „Inglourious Basterds“.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll take Tarantino’s offerings over those of most other directors any day but – being the spoiled brat that daddy Quentin raised me to be – when it comes to his films, I’m not quick to forgive the absence of innovation that results in a too high degree of masturbating to his own cleverness.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Anmerkung: Das Review wurde zuerst auf Letterboxd veröffentlicht und ist daher auf Englisch.

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