Django Unchained

Django Unchained

(Quentin Tarantino, 2012)

Rating: 4/5

Reviewed by Dave Lancaster

Summary
: Tarantino's spaghetti western finally arrives, backed by a posse of wild performances and lashings of violence that threatrens to outstay its welcome.




With 'Django Unchained', Quentin Tarantino finally gets to make his long awaited spaghetti western, an homage to the likes of 'Django' and 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly'. Technically this isn't so as the term 'spaghetti western' refers to Italian shoestring genre cinema but like he did with his loose war exploitation remake 'Inglourious Basterds', Tarantino has filled in the gaps with sledgehammer precision.

Set against an unforgiving backdrop of racial oppression, 'Django Unchained' centres around the titular slave (Jamie Foxx) who is unchained by the eccentric German bounty hunter Dr King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Together they journey to a plantation called CandieLand owned by the violent figurehead Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) to buy a slave named Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) who, we discover, is Django's wife. Complicating things is Candie's savvy butler Stephen (Samuel L Jackson) who we suspect is really the man behind CandieLand - a black man in a racist world who, like Django, has developed real power.



'Django Unchained' has plenty to say about racism and oppression, but it really pulls the rug from under the viewer when it starts to ask them who exactly are the good guys. Given the suject matter, that's brave and (naturally) controversial. Tarantino asks questions and then shoots later, giving us the best of both worlds.

Like all Tarantino flicks, 'Django Unchained' wears its influences on its bloodstained sleeve but at nearly three hours it threatens to outstay its welcome. There's a hilarious scene between a plantation owner (a brilliantly cast Don Johnson) and his KKK-style posse leader (Jonah Hill) about the design flaws of wearing white sacks with tiny eye slits before they ambush their target. The writing is so slick and enjoyable, you don't really care that the scene isn't really that important. The same goes for Tarantino's cameo as an Australian slave driver. There are a few more similar moments which, when added together, add plenty of flavour but little meat to the one pot genre cocktail.



As well as functioning as a wonderful catch-and-release of tonal shifts, it's a film of dynamic brilliance. It could make a good case for the argument that films are living, breathing entities. As he did with 'Basterds', Christoph Waltz steals the show as the German bounty hunter whose second language is English but he is more eloquent than anybody else in the picture. Django is the least interesting major character in the piece, acting more like our eyes to this world but given how rich Tarantino has made his vistas you welcome this set of roaming eyes. A film of harsh beauty, 'Django Unchained' is a triumph.

Check out the theatrical trailer and more stills from 'Django Unchained' HERE at Cinemas Online.

Other film news

Idris Elba in negotiations for villain role in 'Star Trek 3'

Pre-production has already started on Justin Lin's 'Star Trek 3' but the villain role has yet to be cast. The Hollywood Reporter has now reported that Idris Elba is officially in talks to fill those shoes.

First look at Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'

Here's the first glimpse of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice', as first broken over at Entertainment Weekly.

Bradley Cooper takes over 'A Star Is Born' director duties from Clint Eastwood

Bradley Cooper set to make his debut as director, taking over from Clint Eastwood for music drama 'A Star Is Born'.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt confirms he'll star in 'Fraggle Rock' movie

A live-action feature-film adaptation of Jim Henson's 'Fraggle Rock' has been in various stages of early development for the better part of a decade, but now it looks like it's making some real progress: 'Brick' star Joseph Gordon-Levitt has confirmed that he'll be starring.

Michael Biehn confirms his return as Hicks in Neill Blomkamp's 'Alien' sequel

Michael Biehn, the cult actor who is best known for his work in James Cameron sci-fi classics 'The Terminator', 'The Abyss' and 'Aliens', has confirmed that he will be returning to the 'Alien' franchise in Neill Blomkamp's upcoming sequel.

First look at Tom Hanks in Spielberg's 'Bridge of Spies' plus why John Williams isn't scoring the film

Here's the first look at 'Bridge of Spies' - the upcoming dramatic thriller directed by triple Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Schindler’s List”) and starring two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks (“Forrest Gump,” “Philadelphia”). The first official images sees Hanks' lawyer character in action.

See Emile Hirsch's mugshot following his assault charge

'Into the Wild' star Emile Hirsch scrubbed up well for his mugshot as he posed after a court appearance in Park City, Utah, this week.

Eyewitness: Harrison Ford 'saved lives' by crashing plane away from residential area

It has now been proposed by an eyewitness that the 'Indiana Jones' star's quick-thinking to down his stricken plane on a golf course instead of attempting to make it back to the nearby airport via a residential area most likely 'saved several lives'.

Bruce Willis to make Broadway stage debut in Stephen King's 'Misery'

After decades in the acting game, it seems a little strange that 'Die Hard' star Bruce Willis has never graced the stage but all that is about to change - he's just signed on to make his Broadway debut in Stephen King's 'Misery'.

J.J. Abrams, Zachary Quinto, President Obama and more pay tribute to Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy, best known for acting as Dr Spock on 'Star Trek' and directing films such as 'Three Men and a Little Baby', died on Friday in California following a long battle with a pulmonary disease. He was 83.

'Birdman' soars to Best Picture victory at the Oscars

'Birdman' was the big winner at this year's Oscars, taking home three of the major wins: Best Picture, Best Director and Best (Original) Screenplay. It meant that writer, director and producer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu walked away with three Oscars on the same night. The quirky film about actors also scooped Best Cinematography.

New Robert Langdon film announced: 'Inferno' starring Tom Hanks

Following the roaring successes of 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels and Demons', the character of Robert Langdon is returning to the big screen with Tom Hanks dusting off the hair straighteners once again for the lead role and Oscar winning director Ron Howard back in charge of the production.

Benedict Cumberbatch married on Valentine's Day with 'Sherlock' co-star as his best man

Oscar nominated 'Imitation Game' star Benedict Cumberbatch married on Valentine's Day, it has now been revealed.

Sony eyes new, younger star for 'Spider-Man' franchise reboot

The web of the 'Spider-Man' franchise has become increasingly tangled after mega studios Sony and Marvel agreed to a power sharing contract, effectively meaning that Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) could enter Marvel's Cinematic Universe (with his Avengers pals) but Sony still retains control.The web of the 'Spider-Man' franchise has become increasingly tangled after mega studios Sony and Marvel agreed to a power sharing contract, effectively meaning that Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) could enter Marvel's Cinematic Universe (with his Avengers pals) but Sony still retains control.

BAFTAS 2015: Full list of winners as 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' checks out with the most awards

The BAFTAs have been awarded and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' led the way after the quirky comedy racked up an incredible five gongs with 'Boyhood', 'The Theory of Everything' and 'Whiplash' following up with three a piece. 'Boyhood' scooped three of the biggest with Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actress going to Richard Linklater's 12 year labour of love.

Raunchy 'Fifty Shades of Grey' passes the UK censors uncut

'Fifty Shades of Grey', undoubtedly the most high profile erotic film drama of the year, has been given the seal of approval from the UK film censor board arriving fully uncut with an 18 certificate.

Check out the bizarre photo Chris O'Dowd and Dawn O'Porter welcomed their baby with

Actor Chris O'Dowd and his journalist and TV presenter wife Dawn O'Porter have announced the birth of their child but went against the usual conventions of gushing and posting typical photos.

One dead, two more injured after set collapse on Martin Scorsese's new film 'Silence'

A tragic accident on the set of Martin Scorsese's new film 'Silence' has left one man dead and two more (all in their 50s) injured.

LISTEN: Jeff Bridges releases a spoken word album to help you sleep

The Oscar winning actor's easy-going persona evident over decades of film performances and chilled out concerts has won the Dude legions of abiders but now he's taken his trademark chilled out nature to a whole new level - he's recording an album of sleeping tapes to 'help you get a good night's rest'.

'Ghostbusters': Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon And Leslie Jones to headline female reboot

The female-led reboot of 'Ghostbusters' is now well underway with the four lead stars being revealed by director Paul Feig.

Find Your Cinema

Cinemas Online supply showtimes for every cinema in the UK. To find out what's playing near you and to register for weekly showtimes updates from your local cinema, just enter your postcode:

Advertisement : content continues below
Advertisement : content continues below
Advertisement

| Privacy Policy | Contact Cinemas Online