Review: Django Unchained

Bob finds out what Tarantino has to offer us: a welcome mix of American history, unbridled violence and flawless performances make it a very early contender for the best film of 2013.


 If The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is a definitive ‘Spaghetti Western’ then Django Unchained is a new beast entirely; the spaghetti here is Southern-fried, with plenty of grease. 

The violence is so brutal that it verges on comical, with countless dynamite explosions and bucketfuls of blood; the soundtrack is stuffed with modern hip-hop and the language is almost foul enough to make your ears bleed.

Though at times seeming a bit style-over-substance, any brainlessness is more than made up for in the film’s brilliant casting, which just about adds some weight to the serious subject-matter that the film is based on.

With a similar style to Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained teeters between nail-biting tension and unrivalled coolness, with Jamie Foxx somehow managing to be his most badass in a period role (which is quite a feat when he’s played a character called ‘Motherfucker Jones’ before).

The supporting cast are superb, too;  Christoph Waltz earned a much-deserved BAFTA for his role as the bounty-hunter Dr. King Schultz, but  Leonardo Dicaprio’s über-camp villain and Samuel L. Jackson’s snivelling, detestable housekeeper easily put in as good a performance, if not better.

Though Tarantino calls the film a ‘Southern’, this film is an unmistakeable throwback to the Western’s yesteryear.

Best bit: The Ku Klux Klan scene; group of hooded racists argue for five minutes about the logistics of attempting a lynching with pillowcases on their heads. No relevance to the plot, but way too hilarious to end up on the cutting-room floor.

Django Unchained is showing at the Hyde Park Picture House every day this week.