A couple years before the Civil War, a slave, Django(Jamie Foxx) is rescued from captivity by a German bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz(Christoph Waltz). Schultz does not believe in slavery and makes Django a deal, if he helps him track down potential bounties he’ll help Django rescue his wife from a very nasty slave owner named Calvin Candie(Leonardo DiCaprio) from there the two work together and Django becomes a bounty hunter.
This movie frustrates me horribly, half the film is beyond amazing like an almost pure perfect work. Slowly the film breaks down though and looses its magic. Still the strong parts here are worth it. The actors in this bring it and that alone is fun to watch. Jamie Foxx plays everything just right for Django, even though the material is over the top he is playing it like an action film. There is no scene in this movie where he fails and that should be respected because everyone else gets to over act, but not him. Waltz is again amazing here and you can’t help but love this guy, even though he’s a bounty hunter he’s very likable. DiCaprio is so good as the nasty Calvin Candie he obviously enjoyed this role and eats up his dialogue. Even though he is evil you kind of like him and that is mainly because of DiCaprio. I must shout out to Samuel L. Jackson who really surprised me as Stephen an old slave working for Candie, no spoilers here but it’s a very hard character to play and he nails it.
The movie itself is pretty simple, it’s a western and a revenge film. It’s super violent which most people expect from a Tarantino movie. It’s over the top gun violence and be warned that blood spills in this movie. Tarantino has out done himself here. I felt his last film Inglorious Basterds was solid but missing a lot. I did no like his playing with history. Django never steps in this it never attempts to change history. It’s just a story set in the South about slavery. The movie is beautifully shot and has one hell of a sound track. The film is also very funny, many moments had me laughing loudly which really surprised me because of the material.
It’s not all great though, the movie is way too long, many scenes drag on almost pointlessly. The third act also falls apart. I wish Quentin would have stayed focused on making a Western. A film about a slave becoming a bounty hunter rocks, and all of that is great fun in the movie. Once it becomes a revenge film the movie changes gears and frankly falls off the tracks. The movie looses its fun feeling and becomes rather off balance. I understand Django wanting revenge but killing almost anyone who is white seemed not in his character. Early in the movie he is opposed to shooting down a killer in front of his own son. Then by the end he could care less about even shooting down women. It just didn’t work and it comes off wrong.
Still even with its odd third act the film is still very strong and visually in many ways a masterpiece. The acting performances alone are worth your time. It was also nice to see a western. If you have problems with some of the political messages or the gun violence I would avoid this movie. If not you must check it out if you have the chance.
Rating: 6 1/2 out of 10