Django Unchained 2012 Movie Review
My biggest complaints about “Django Unchained” are ones that really won’t matter to most people who see this film. After all, just about everyone knows that Quentin Tarantino’s films are incredibly bloody, gross and self-indulgent. So, when you see a billion gallons of blood and bodies flying everywhere, you are not really surprised! This one does go a step further–there is some full-frontal male nudity and a few of the scenes were so gross and gratuitous that Tarantino has outdone himself. But still, you KNOW ahead of time that this is not a film to show your mother, Father Jenkins or your 6 year-old!! However, HOW far it goes will limit the film’s appeal–you can be sure of that. Evan a large number of adults would be unable to stick with this one…it’s THAT violent.
The film is, in some ways, like an Italian western. I loved that much of the music was done by Ennio Merricone–the same guy who did music for such classic spaghetti westerns as “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and “Once Upon a Time in the West”. It was a major plus. I also liked seeing that one of the many wonderful cameos was by Franco Nero–the original Django. But, if you think that this is a modern Hollywood version of an Italian western, you are mistaken. PARTS of it are–most is not. In fact, despite the western clothing on so many of the characters (anachronistic, actually), the film is mostly set in the American South just before the Civil War. People just didn’t dress that way at that time and in that place. The film is, at times, sort of like a blaxspoitation western in style as well.
What did I like about the film? Well, it was never, ever dull. The film never really gives you a chance–even though it clocks in at 2 hours and 45 minutes. Second, as I mentioned above, there were a lot of cool cameos–and some were real surprises, such as Tom Wopat and Bruce Dern! Third, although it was vile, the language was dead on–no politically corrected phraseology in this one! Nasty and blunt, that’s for sure. Fourth, although it was really violent and gross, I will admit that there is something very satisfying in seeing all these racist jerks killed so violently. It appeals to the lowest instinct in us…but on a primal level is IS appealing. Finally, the acting was quite good.
What didn’t I like? Well, even for a Tarantino film it was violent—very violent. Also, I definitely agree that the first hour or so of the film was MUCH better. It was better paced, less indulgent and more enjoyable. The film did become a bit of a free-for-all blood-fest near the end and the ‘mandingo fighting scene’ was unnecessarily nasty. Still, if you have the stomach for it, “Django Unchained” is a heck of an enjoyable film.
By the way, I did a little research and there appears to be no such thing as ‘mandingo fighting’. This was made up for this film.