Available until August 13, 2013 at Rogers On Demand (Channel 100) and online at rogersanyplacetv.com
Django Unchained is the funniest western since Blazing Saddles, the bloodiest since The Wild Bunch and the most stylish since The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of Quentin Tarantino’s most controversial blood-soaked genre masterpiece.
A spaghetti ‘southern’ set in pre-Civil War Mississippi, Django Unchained does for slavery what Tarantino’s previous mix-tape movie, Inglourious Basterds, did for Nazi atrocities – righting history’s wrongs as a fantastically brazen revenge fantasy climaxing in a retributive bloodbath.
Jamie Foxx stars as the slave of the title – his name sampled from the 1966 Sergio Corbucci classic Django and his attitude from Shaft – who is freed from a chain gang by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter (Oscar winner Christoph Waltz at his mannered and murderous best). He requires Django’s services to track down three dirt-bag desperados; in return, he’ll help Django rescue his wife from the clutches of the preening sadist Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is holed up with his Uncle Tom-like house slave (Samuel L. Jackson) at his plantation, cheerfully dubbed Candyland.
Django Unchained is a Molotov cocktail of high and low art. Indeed, Tarantino has something quite serious to say about the issue of slavery, although that message is sometimes hard to hear when the violence is dialed up to 11 and the use of the “N” word up to 12. It’s overlong, overblown and overly self-indulgent as only Tarantino can be. But when it comes to Tarantino, nothing succeeds like excess.