Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Review: Django Unchained is a Bloody Mess

Django Unchained starring Jamie Foxx

Django Unchained (2012) is one bloody movie. Of course, what Quentin Tarantino movie isn’t bloody?
{This review has movie SPOILERS.}

First of all, this is not a family friendly movie. The “R” Rating should obviously give that away. But just in case you were considering taking your 13-or-younger teen to this movie, don’t.

Django Unchained is a movie about a slave that turns into a bounty hunter, but the movie is filled to the brim with unrealistic blood shooting every which way from excessive gunfights, and foul-mouthed language (including the “N” word 30-something times).  Jamie Foxx plays Django.

I would never choose to watch this movie again. Once is more than enough for me. It is far too graphic and foul-mouthed. You leave the theater feeling filthy – like you are covered in the blood of all those people that died.

Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino obviously does not hold the view that less is better. Sometimes, it should be left to the viewer that the bad guys are disposed of. That is not the case in this movie. Quentin Tarantino makes sure to add yet another scene with Django killing yet more people.

Noble Characters?
Django Unchained would have been a decent movie if viewers would have gotten a sense that Django and his friend “Mr. Shultz” were noble men. This was attempted by the fact that Mr. Shultz let the slaves go in the beginning, and giving Django his freedom. But later in the movie, Mr. Shultz has Django shoot a man plowing a field while his 10-year old son watches. Shouldn’t the more noble thing be to take him in alive? Apparently not.

By the time all the killing is done, Django does not seem to have any grace or mercy toward anyone. Even Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly is shot dead. Only reason I can figure is that she was on the wrong side (and the wrong skin color).

 2 Things That Should’ve Been in the Movie (Based on the Dialogue):
1.       Mr. Shultz said they were going to search every plantation in Gatlinburg until they found the Riddle Brothers. The movie should’ve showed more searching. They found the plantation (ran by Don Johnson) on the first try. No searching was involved. 
2.       Mr. Shultz tells Django that Mississippi is full of slave-owners and that it will be very difficult to find out where his wife is because it is the center of slavery in the South. The camera has the words "Mississippi" (float across the screen), and Mr. Shultz and Django have no issue in finding Broomhilda's plantation (Candie-land) without being noticed. This should've been more challenging, since it is extremely rare for a black man to be a free man in the South, and especially in Mississippi. 

The dialogue says that they will have a difficult time doing things, but the visual movie does not show them to be hard. Anybody else catch this?

A Few Things That I Liked About the Movie:
1. The Django Theme Song
2. Jamie Foxx's acting (aside from the gratuitous killing)
3. Christoph Waltz's acting
4. The Tarantino-esque zoom in on Mr. Candie's (Leo's) face
5. Jamie Foxx bareback riding on the horse was pretty cool

The Ending:
The end of the movie, Django escapes from being sold to the mining company by telling the escorts a lie. He kills them and takes their guns and dynamite and rides off, leaving 3 slaves to free themselves, with one “hater” smiling because Django gets the best of the bad guys. This would have been the right time to end the movie. I could visualize Django getting his wife back and winning.

But the movie continued on about another 10 minutes, having Django killing every last man, and blowing up the Candie-land house.

Mr. Tarantino, in some cases, less is better, and your movies should use some of this restraint. It is called meekness. Just because you can show it, doesn’t mean you should. Because you have to keep going and pressing the issue, I think it actually takes away from your movie.

The most disturbing segment of the movie is when Leonardo di Caprio’s character let two dogs rip a slave to pieces, while everyone watches. Snippets of this are later replayed in the movie, as if seeing it once was not enough. Again, knowing the dogs were going to kill him was enough, but we had to view this multiple times -- Just sickening.

Every gun fight had blood bursting forth from the body. This was way too unrealistic. After a while, this just gets old.

Even though this movie attempted to be accurate in terms of race relations during the time period, I don’t think this movie does do anything to leave the movie-goer feeling good. The only thing in the end is that Django and his wife ride away on horses. Everyone else is dead.

Oprah endorsed this movie, while Spike Lee protested it.

There is nothing else to say about this gratuitous movie. 

Leonardo di Caprio and Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained


YoucancallmeAl said...

"Mr. Shultz and Django have no issue looking up the name of the plantation."
Shultz explains early on in the movie that there would be a record of slaves sold at the Greenville auction.
They don't look up the name of the plantation. They look up the name of the person who bought her. It just so happened that the person who bought her owned the 4th biggest plantation in Mississippi. It was easy to find because the man, Calvin J. Candie, was well known for owning Candie land.

P.S. You should have known that Tarantino wouldn't leave anything to the imagination. It is what sets him apart from other directors. The gore, harsh characters and scenes that don't shy away from either are some of the biggest reasons Tarantino fans love his work. I wouldn't have it any other way.

- Al

Lovez said...

Thank you for your comment. I have made a correction to the blog post to clarify what I meant. The problem wouldn't be in finding Broomhilda, but the problem lies in not being caught.

I was aware I was going into a Tarantino movie, and that he doesn't leave anything to the imagination. But I do believe he could improve if he were to study that he doesn't have to show so much gore to evoke the same emotions.

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