Thursday, January 3, 2013

Does ‘Django Unchained’ Live Up to the Hype?

Happy New Year, Wortmaniacs! I hope that 2013 brings you joy, success and everything in between. But before we dive into the next calendar year with unbridled hope that will inevitably transform into debilitating disappointment by next December, I’d like to talk about one of the best films of 2012: Quentin Tarantino’s Spaghetti Western homage, Django Unchained.

I went into the controversial director’s racially-charged pre-Civil War revenge film with some trepidation — namely because I wasn’t convinced Tarantino would be able to craft a worthy follow-up to his Nazi-eviscerating World War II epic, Inglourious Basterds. Those concerns were assuaged mere moments into my viewing of Django Unchained, which follows a freed slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) who joins forces with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to free his wife from the clutches of a slimy plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). Sharp writing, excellent performances and an eclectic soundtrack featuring everything from traditional western themes to Rick Ross to James Brown combine to make Django Unchained the best moviegoing experience this winter that doesn’t involve wizards or Anne Hathaway.

Is Django Unchained violent? Hilariously so. However, complaining about over-the-top blood and gore in a Tarantino movie is akin to critiquing beer for making the opposite sex more attractive. If you’re into Tarantino’s previous films, there’s no reason you won’t enjoy Django Unchained. Go see it.