Opening in theatres on Christmas Day from director/writer Quentin Tarantino and The Weinstein Company comes a western of a different kind with DJANGO UNCHAINED.
This film tells the story of Django (Jaime Foxx), a slave in chains prior to the Civil War until an unexpected visit from dentist Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) who, well, obtains Django’s freedom. Dr. Schulz isn’t an ordinary dentist; he is actually a bounty hunter and quickly makes a deal with the former slave.
Schultz agrees to help find Django’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) in exchange he will teach Django to be a bounty hunter and find some of the most wanted men dead or alive. On their travels they learn that Calvin Candie (Leonardo di Caprio) has Cora and now the real game begins.
Dr. Schultz and Django must keep their focus on rescuing Broomhilda but with Candie and his manservant Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson) watching there every move, things are about to become unchained.
FINAL WORD: Foxx gets a chance to go totally insane in the title role of Django. This character is clearly smart from the get go but catches on quickly to what he needs to do to find his wife. Foxx puts on his dangerous face and no one is safe.
Waltz is completely and absolutely brilliant as Dr. King Schultz. From the moment he enters the film he is articulate, funny, straight forward and the only one with a clean mouth in the entire film. His presence is gentlemanly which is odd considering his profession as a bounty hunter. He prefers reason over bullets but won’t hesitate to shoot. He is stunning and the film would fall fast without him.
Jackson as Stephen knows how to step into the role and make it the center of attention. He has total loyalty to Calvin Candie and will do anything to keep his station – even if it isn’t what everyone might expect. Johnson as Big Daddy gets a chance to be comical and a bit Burl Ives via CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF in the film and I loved it.
Di Caprio as Candie is another smooth talker and with southern flair shows his words always have more than one meaning. He is callus, cold and clearly has a problem when feeling betrayed but guests he has offered his hospitality too. Candie is smooth until its time not to be – but he’s not ready for Django by any means.
The film is raw, the cinematography plays to the audience and there is definitely enough violence to fill one up for a while. The acting is superb and the cast works together impeccably. I wasn’t sure what to expect with DJANGO UNCHAINED but I was not disappointed by any means.
Other cast include: Walton Goggins as Billy Crash, Dennis Christopher as Leonide Moguy, James Remar as Butch Pooch, David Steen as Mr. Stonecipher, Dana Gourrier as Cora, Nichole Galicia as Sheba, Laura Cayouette as Laura Lee Candie, M.C. Gainey as Big John Brittle, Cooper Huckabee as Little Raj Brittle, Doc Duhame as Ellis Brittle, Ato Essandoh as D’Atagnan, Sammi Rotibi as Rodney and Don Johnson as Big Daddy.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give DJANGO UNCHAINED four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This is an extreme, wild three hour ride filled with a jaw dropping story, music, blaxploitation, stereotypes, that might seem appalling, violently insane set in a spaghetti western of a film that only Tarantino could possibly provide.
That being said it’s obvious that this is not a film for kids by any means or those easily offended. Tarantino never seems to feel the need to be apologetic for the films he makes and by the number of films that are hits the audience doesn’t seem to be asking him to!
There is no surprise here that DJANGO UNCHAINED has already been nominated for five Golden Globe awards. There will also be no surprise when the film and many of its actors show up on the Oscar list!
In the end – the “d” is silent – payback won’t be!
For more information on films and television visit Movie Maven.