MOVIE REVIEW: DJANGO UNCHAINED (2012)Posted: December 31, 2012
Running time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Once again, Quentin Tarantino delivers a great movie. Django Unchained is a western set in the South before the Civil War. Django (Foxx) is a freed slave, and he teams up with a bounty hunter named Schultz (Waltz) to find and rescue his enslaved wife, Broomhilda (Washington).
This is definitely one of my favorite movies of the year! It almost has a ‘buddy’ atmosphere towards the beginning of the movie, because we see Django become a free man and then team up with Schultz to hunt down criminals, kill them, and then collect the bounty. These two are inseparable, and in one touching scene, Schultz tells Django about the origin of the name ‘Broomhilda’.
As the duo collects more bounties they also acquire more information about Broomhilda’s whereabouts, which leads them to Calvin Candie (DiCaprio), the evil owner of the Candyland plantation. From here the storyline and the violence really starts to pick up.
I know there’s a lot of controversy surrounding the movie. People are upset by the (very) generous use of the word ‘nigger’, and the violence towards the slaves has also been mentioned. Throw in the mandingo fight (two strong, male slaves fight to the death) and you have one intense movie that is admittedly hard to watch at times. However, when you go to a theater to see a movie with slavery as its backdrop, and especially once you find out Quentin Tarantino directed it, you should expect it to be bloody and controversial.
I loved DiCaprio in this movie. He’s flamboyant, charismatic, and down-right sneaky, which is everything you’d expect from a villain. He has a commanding presence and continues to show why he’s a great actor.
Naturally, I also loved Waltz. As the character Shultz, he gave this movie a heart and a conscience. Even though he kills criminals, he becomes overwhelmed with the horrors that he finds at the Candyland plantation and his discomfort only adds to the tension that steadily builds towards the movie’s climax.
I’m thinking Christoph Waltz will earn yet another Best Supporting Actor nomination, but I don’t think Jamie Foxx will earn another nomination for Best Actor. All of his thoughts and movements as Django were very predictable, and although Foxx did a great job I don’t think he did enough to really resonate with the audience.
Overall I loved this movie and I plan to re-watch it many times. It does have a ‘been there, done that’ feel to it though, because in Kill Bill we saw the Bride hunt down those who wronged her and attempt to kill them. She was also looking for her daughter. Now we have Django hunting people down to kill them, and he’s looking for his wife.
That’s just a minor complaint though. This movie is rock solid.