The premise of Django Unchained deceptively simple - but that’s exactly what you would expect from a Tarantino film.
Django (Jamie Foxx), a freed slave, sets out with a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from brutal plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
But in a film that clocks in at just over two-and-a-half hours there are so many more layers to unravel.
With a nod to more than a few spaghetti westerns, including the original Django released in 1966, Tarantino has created a modern day homage to the genre.
Jamie Foxx as the title character shines in the role, which was originally intended for Will Smith. But it’s clear that the final casting decision was the best one and Foxx carries the role of Django with just enough style and a whole lot of substance.
That said it is Christoph Waltz, in his second collboration with Tarantino following Inglorious Basterds in 2009, that really steals the show.
As bounty hunter/lapsed dentist Dr. King Schultz he leads Django through the life of collecting corpses for cash before they take on Calvin Candie together to free Django’s wife Broomhilda from slavery.
Essentially, the greater part of Django Unchained is an unconvential buddy movie and it’s all the better for it.
Django Unchained is typically Tarantino - a weird mix of art and trash. The violence, which could be seen as gratuitous, is just so ridiculous it verges into the sublime.
Tarantino manages to have more bloodshed in his films than most would see as reasonable, but it works. And that’s in no small part due to his confidence with his craft and a knowing wink to how crazy it all is.
Like with Tarantino’s films that have come before it’s a serious film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s the perfect balance that can be so difficult to obtain.
It would be too much to call Django Unchained a masterpiece but it’s stylish, quirky and overall it provides an entertaining few hours - you couldn’t really ask for more.
Special features include ‘Remembering J. Michael Riva: The Production Design of Django Unchained’, ‘20Years In The Making: The Tarantino XX Blu-ray Collection’, ‘Django Unchained Soundtrack Spot’
Django Unchained is out now on DVD.