“I like the way you die boy!“ – Jamie Foxx as Django
What’s good: The action and violence are oh so good.
What’s not good: This film runs far too long.
What happened: Revenge can lead you down a very dark path. It can bring out the worst in you and make you do things you ordinarily wouldn’t. Sometimes, vengeance is the only way to make things right. ‘Django Unchained’ tells the story of one man who makes everyone pay for what they did to him.
Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) looks like a harmless old man at first glance. However, hiding behind that friendly smile is a cunning, cold-blooded killer. He is looking for a particular slave that may have the information he needs. This slave, Django (Jamie Foxx), has just been through the worst day of his life. He has been brutally whipped, branded, and separated from his one true love Hildy (Kerry Washington). Schultz offers Django an intriguing business proposition that he cannot refuse. Now a free man, the only thing on Django’s mind is vengeance and bloodshed.
Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an unusually cruel slave owner from the Deep South. What he does to one slave who tried to escape is pure evil. Candie controls the largest plantation in Mississippi where he forces slaves into the savage sport of Mandingo Fighting. He is also in possession of the one thing Django covets most. He and Schultz devise a plan to trick Candie that quickly goes awry. Django must keep his cool behind enemy lines to save his wife before they are both killed.
‘Django Unchained’ is an extremely entertaining film despite the deeply disturbing subject matter of slavery. The entire cast delivers spectacular performances throughout. Jamie Foxx is great as the lead. He carries the film perfectly and delivers a believable performance. Christoph Waltz is very funny and equally good in his role. Samuel L. Jackson practically steals the show in his small part as Stephen. You will find yourself laughing at and hating his character at the same time. The gun battles are easily the best part of the movie. It is so rewarding to see the villains get what they deserve. As enjoyable as this film is, there are still a lot of issues with it. The scene where Don Johnson and his gang wear bags on their heads was comical, but disturbing at the same time. The audience knew who they were depicting which made it rather difficult to sit through. Be prepared to hear the ‘N’ word a whole lot. Yes, everything takes place during slavery, but it is still hard to listen to. Watch out for the scene with male genitalia. Also, the music doesn’t quite fit the film. You will hear an odd mixture of Hip Hop, R&B, and music from old Westerns. The western music is cheesy at best. Love him or hate him, Quentin Tarantino definitely makes bold choices in his films. His directing style tends to be over the top and this one is no different. At almost three hours, ‘Django Unchained’ runs far too long. A lot of this flick could have been cut out which would have made it so much better. The main issue with ‘Django Unchained’ is how it tries to add humor to a very dark period in American History. Toning down the comedy would have allowed the issue of overcoming slavery to take center stage.
Bottom Line: ‘Django Unchained’ is not as good as it should have been, but is still worth checking out.
Rating: R Run time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
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