MOVIE REVIEW: Django Unchained. Starring Christopher Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L Jackson, Kerry Washington; directed by Quentin Tarantino
Overall, I like Quentin Tarantino as a film-maker. He's done some clever movies (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill) and I've never been one to have too much of an issue with extreme violence, which is rather his stock in trade.
However, even clever film-makers have dubious moments (Grindhouse leaps to mind) and, for me, Django Unchained is, at best, dubious.
It's also - at just under three hours - about half an hour too long, and by the end of it my tolerance for many things - the n-word, blood spurting from bodies in various balletic forms, and the story itself - had just about worn thin.
Title character Django, played with a kind of under-the-radar vibe by Jamie Foxx, is a slave in pre-Civil War America. He's freed by Dr King Schulz (Waltz), dentist-turned-bounty hunter, who needs Django to identify some miscreants. So far, so good.
From there, everything seems to get a bit self-indulgent. All right, I found it very self-indulgent. The story careered around all over the place, and the actors seemed barely able to reign it in at some points.
There were, however, some standouts. Waltz was definitely one of the film's saving graces as Dr Schulz, moving through the story and the landscape effortlessly. Leonardo DiCaprio also put in a true star turn as plantation owner Calvin Candie.
That aside, I found Django Unchained trying to sit through. It's a decent story, in desperate search of a better edit.
- The Southland Times