Dr. King Schultz, played by Christoph Waltz (Carnage, The Three Musketeers, Water for Elephants), is a bounty hunter in pre-civil war America and looking for a few men in particular to land himself a handsome paycheck. The only problem is he doesn’t know what they look like so he frees a slave who does in order to help; the titular hero Django played by Jamie Foxx (Due Date, Valentine’s Day, Law Abiding Citizen), and in return Schultz will grant him complete freedom to find his missing wife.
The narrative follows Django and Schultz as a pair of bounty hunters kicking ass and taking names until they eventually get a chance to save Django’s wife from captivity of big time plantation owner Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar, Inception, Shutter Island). Django Unchained follows the bounty hunter duo through the southern states trying to avoid slavery, killing baddies and saving Django’s wife.
Even though the story in Django Unchained is quite straight-forward, make no mistake that this is definitely a Quentin Tarantino directed (Inglourious Basterds, Death Proof, Kill Bill Vol. 2) movie, it’s got all the violence, over-the-top gore, humour, action and great story that’s expected of Tarantino, and he delivers it brilliantly but the cast is what really sold Django Unchained. Christoph Waltz was the show stealer here putting on a phenomenal performance as Dr. Schultz and really encapsulating the characters overzealous nature and charming conduct. Jamie Foxx really gets into the role of Django, portraying his emotions brilliantly and selling the character. Together Waltz and Foxx really bond and build a believable relationship worth rooting for, while the main supporting cast of Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L Jackson (The Avengers, Meeting Evil, The Samaritans) as Stephen play amazing antagonists who really capture their characters’ mentality perfectly. There’s even an unplanned point in the film when DiCaprio cut his hand quite deep during a scene and instead of breaking character to get patched up, he kept going and improvised using the blood as a sort of prop.
The visual style of Django is brilliant with the sets and costumes that create an authentic looking 1800s. The bold in-your-face physical effects and little to no CGI are perfect for this style of film which balance being very convincing and realistic at times as well as having over-the-top ‘Tarantino’ moments/effects. The soundtrack to Django Unchained was spectacular, it spanned from the calm western feel of Ancora Qui by Elisa Toffoli to the Hip-Hop bass of 100 Black Coffins by Rick Ross and a lot in between. There were many different styles of music and each piece is perfectly placed to compliment their respective scenes beautifully. Generally film soundtracks aren’t particularly noticeable and are there to create an atmosphere for what’s on screen but in Django it felt like part of the narrative and a really important part of the movies presentation.
Django Unchained offers everything you’d want in a modern day western; amazing acting, brilliant action sequences, fantastic music and much more (Imagine a lot more adjectives). For Tarantino fans, this is an absolute must watch, it’s a bit more linear than his usual movies but is no less brilliant for it. For fans of action, westerns and violence spattered with humour, this is definitely for you and all your friends. It’s a scintillating movie with serious undertones but is a ton of fun to watch, a thoroughly entertaining experience.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Main Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
Release Dates: US 25th December 2012 / UK 18th January 2013
Approximate Runtime: 2 hours 45 minutes
MPAA Rating: R (for strong graphic violence throughout, a vicious fight, language and some nudity)
BBFC Rating: 18
Genres: Action, Drama, Western
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Official Site: http://unchainedmovie.com/
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