Having won an Oscar for his Pulp Fiction screenplay in 1995, most people recognize Quentin Tarantino for his rare style of direction. Although the Academy has yet to reward him for any of his countless directorial highlights, Tarantino has become an undoubted legend in the eyes of many moviegoers. Some wonder if Tarantino's newest release, Django Unchained, will be the one to finally get him over the hump. Despite the film's unique tone and unbridled sense of originality, unfortunately, I don't see Tarantino walking away with the golden statue.
Two years before the start of the Civil War, a German-born bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz (played by Christoph Waltz) is fresh on the trail of his latest target, the Brittle brothers. Unaware of what they look like, Schultz tracks down a slave named Django (played by Jamie Foxx) to help identify the fugitives. In return, Schultz promises to help Django find and rescue his enslaved wife from the Calvin Candie (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) plantation.
As an outspoken voice against a fair share of director Quentin Tarantino's earlier films, I must admit that his latest work, Django Unchained, is about as fun and entertaining as cinema gets. Tarantino's stylish vision comes to life and transcends the norm in modern day filmmaking. Through the use of a fantastic score, skilled acting and stunning cinematography, Django becomes the perfect stage for the director to stamp his place in history. In fact, for such an impressive collection of cast members, the performances actually take a back seat to Tarantino's exemplary work. In addition to his direction, Tarantino also delivers a well-rounded script. Solid dialogue, witty circumstance and an evolving plot allow for Django to never lose its flare. Well paced and surprisingly hilarious, the film's fine cast is simply the icing on the cake. Without a doubt, Christoph Waltz gives the feature's most significant performance. It's interesting to recall that the last time Waltz teamed up with Quentin Tarantino, it resulted in a Best Supporting Actor win for the performer. Perhaps history will repeat itself? If not, a nomination for the same category is completely warranted. Therefore, it's clear to see that, from top to bottom, Django is an outstanding movie.
For as spectacular of a feat as Quentin Tarantino's most recent film is, Django still has two distinct areas of concern. First, the over-extended conclusion quickly turns on itself and ends up feeling slightly anti-climactic. As a two hour and 46 minute affair, Django proves to be a little too long for its own good. Tarantino decides to stretch the finale in order to cater to his self-proclaimed Spaghetti Western genre. With enough blood and violence to make a slasher film jealous, Django's brutally disgusting third act becomes way too overbearing. You know it's troubling when even I think that the gore-fest is completely unnecessary and over-the-top. Although Tarantino's style and vision is phenomenal, the cavalier manner in which he concludes his film is clearly a deterrent to the entire project.
In the works since 2009, coincidentally Django Unchained is very similar to Tarantino's earlier picture Inglourious Basterds. With clear overlapping ideas of revenge and social prejudice, the director's newest release is far superior than its predecessor. Tarantino improves on past mistakes and gives us Django Unchained, an energetic and spellbinding adventure that doesn't disappoint. Staking its claim as a legitimate Oscar contender, Django Unchained is one of 2012's "can't miss" films. Assuming you can stomach the violence, rush to theatres to check out Tarantino's latest masterpiece.