Warning: Anything you have heard about Django Unchained is true. It’s bloody, gory, full of the “n” word, and REALLY LONG. This is a Quentin Tarantino movie from the beginning. Yes, he’s even in it for about 5 minutes or so. But, in true Tarantino fashion, he doesn’t have problems taking himself out of the movie as well.
The basic premise is Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a previous dentist turned bounty hunter, seeks out a slave named Django (Jaime Foxx) to assist him in identifying some bounties. The hunt goes well, and the doctor decides to take on Django to be his partner for the rest of the winter. Django agrees to be his partner with the agreement that Schultz help him find his wife come spring. The two seem to get along very well and have a very prosperous winter, including geting the drop on a very high value gang.
Spring comes and Schultz and Django head to Mississippi to try to find Broomhilde (Kerry Washington). They find out that she’s been bought by Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and brought to his plantation. As a matter of approach, Schultz and Django decide to play the roles of men looking to buy mandingos, or slaves that are fighters. Their hope is that by distracting Calvin from seeing their true purpose they would be able to buy Broomhilde from out under Calvin. Once they get to Candyland, they find that Broomhilde has tried to escape again and was being kept in the hot box. Schultz is able to get her out under the pretext that he wants her company. Django and Hilde are reunited, but it is short lived. The main house slave Stephen (Samuel L Jackson) sees something’s up and alerts Calvin to the apparent plot.
Schultz and Django
This starts a very long cascade of people dying. Calvin dies. Shultz dies. Most of Calvin’s men die. Stephen dies. Calvin’s sister dies. Things do not look good for either Hilde or Django. But things start going their way at the end. And of course the movie ends in a literal “bang”!
I have left out much of this movie due to its graphic nature. There is so much blood and gore in this movie that it is beyond gratuitous. This is VERY much Tarantino’s style. Think “Inglorious Basterds”. Actually, that movie put a bit of a damper on my opinion of this movie. After seeing “Inglorious Basterds”, I was pretty ruined by Christoph Waltz. He was such a terrible character that I kept thinking of him as the Jew hunter. But his character in “Django Unchained” was the complete opposite. This movie he shows so much more depth in character. He starts the movie as not wanting to be involved or understanding the slave business. But he learns very quickly all about it and seems to do the right thing by the slaves he meets.
Stephen and Hilde
All in all, you are going to have to WANT to see this movie. While I LOVE Kerry Washington, especially in her performances during Scandal, but she really did nothing for me during this movie. On the other hand Jaime Foxx seems to be choosing better roles that are actual real acting roles. He’s not my favorite actor, but this was a good job by him. The movie is over 2.5 hours long, so this is not a movie you can just breeze through.
Rating: 7 out of 10