Django Unchained
2012
***
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Dennis Christopher, James Remar, Michael Parks, Don Johnson

Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction were a breath of fresh air, but the recent years have turned Quentin Tarantino into one of the most predictable filmmakers in the industry. With each new release I know to expect an overlong, ultra-violent, expletive-heavy and utterly pointless revenge fantasy which is full of film references, overwrought dialogue and quirky 70s songs. This Spaghetti Western-meets-blaxploitation flick about a vengeful slave certainly isn’t a stretch for him. The story is set in 1858 when Dr. King Schultz, a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter, frees Django, a slave who can help him identify three wanted brothers. The two eventually strike an unlikely partnership which takes them to a plantation in Mississippi to liberate Django’s wife. The butt-numbing 165 minutes include some terrific scenes and performances, which include Christopher Waltz as the suave bounty hunter, Leonardo DiCaprio as the nasty plantation owner and Samuel L. Jackson as the servile elderly slave. James Remar, on the other hand, appears in a baffling double role, probably just to misdirect our expectations. Once again the whole adds up to nothing. This is not a story about slavery any more than Inglourious Basterds is a story about World War 2. The tragedy provides a nice backdrop for cool and brutal violence, and, oh boy, does Tarantino give us some. This is his bloodiest movie since Kill Bill, Vol. 1, but he is yet to trigger an emotional response when a character dies. An Academy Award winner for best screenplay (Tarantino) and supporting actor (Waltz).