Let me just start by saying that if you're a big action movie fan, this film will please you. The action scenes are engaging and shot well, the blood is gratuitous but stylized enough not to be distracting, and the vast majority of the one-liners and clips land well and should elicit a chuckle even at their worst. And if you're a big Western fan, you'll be pretty pleased too. The movie's to big love letter to the genre and is often stylistically similar to the days of yore—in terms of look and sound (save for the occasional rap song in the BMG), Django Unchained may as well be a re-release from the fifties or sixties. The movie is relentlessly entertaining, there's no denying it. But is it any good? From a plot perspective, the film feels patchy in its first act, with events happening linearly enough but no sense of an overarching plot. Things pull together once Django and Schultz find out where Django's wife is being held, but fall apart again once Schultz decides to firmly grasp the Idiot Ball and respark conflict seemingly only because Tarantino realized that if he didn't we end up with a really short movie. As a result, the third act has the distinct feeling that we're retracing our steps, and while we do get an amusing action set piece out of it the entire ending is undercut by the nagging feeling that there's no point to it. As for the characters, only Django and Schultz seem to have much depth, and to Tarantino's credit their growth and how it happens comes in small, subtle doses. But the baddies are all generically Affably Evil, save for Samuel L. Jackson's character, who is pretty much generically evil period. And Django's wife barely has enough characterization to be a mere Damsel In Distress—she's more a Mac Guffin than anything. So, yeah. It's, by most counts, a pretty shallow movie. Damn is it entertaining, though. I'd say it's worth at least one watch on the big screen if you just wanna pack away the popcorn for a couple of hours.
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