Chopping Block Review: Django Unchained


By Nolan P. Smith-Pastrami Nation

When writer/director Quentin Tarantino makes a new film, the masses usually take notice. The man who brought the world Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, and most recently Inglorious Basterds is back, and back with a bang. Django Unchained brings the over the top violence that fans have come to expect, but how does the rest of the film fit the bill?

The story takes place years before the Civil War, and focuses on slavery, not a subject often touched on in the cinema world. The lead protagonists are Django (Jamie Foxx) and his mentor, bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). The story focuses on Django helping Schultz track down some wanted men, but the heart of the story is in the journey to find Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). That causes the duo to butt heads with all sorts of slave owner scum of the Earth types, like Big Daddy (Don Johnson) and Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), with bloody results.

The movie, from the encapsulating musical backdrop to the sheer likeability of Django and King, blew away all expectations for me. I expected blood, I expected a journey of vengeance, and I got that. But what I also got makes for an unforgettable movie experience.  Jamie Foxx wasn’t the first actor cast for this film: in fact, the part was once in the hands of Will Smith. Nothing against Will, as I am a huge fan of his, but this role belonged single handedly to Mr. Foxx. Foxx shows once again why his name is constantly in the hunt for awards and recognitions, delivering a milestone in the character histories of Quentin Tarantino films. But he did not shine alone, as Christoph Waltz stole the show just about every time he was on screen. In a film packed with talent such as Foxx, DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson, that is no easy feat.

In the end, this film isn’t for everyone. If you are not a fan of extreme blood and gore, then I am not too sure why you are interested in this latest Tarantino flick. But if you are looking for an action packed, spaghetti western soaked in violence and with a rewarding ending, then look no further. Easily my favorite of the Tarantino library thus far, I plan to revisit the world of Django a few more times at the theater, and I recommend you to do the same.

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