Django Unchained - Review
Tarantino's 'Southern' sees him back to his best...
Django Unchained sees Quentin Tarantino return with his brilliant take on the Western genre (although it's technically more of a 'Southern'), aided by an outstanding cast.
Jamie Foxx plays Django, a slave in the pre-Civil War American Deep South, who is recruited by German bounty hunter Dr King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) to assist him - with the promise of freedom if they succeed in tracking down a trio of brothers with a price on their head.
Django is a natural with a gun and fulfils his end of the bargain so skilfully that Schultz offers to extend their relationship for the duration of the winter. When Django reveals that he is married and that his wife Brünnhilde (Kerry Washington) was taught German by her slave owners, Schultz becomes intrigued and pledges to help him rescue her from her current owners.
The pair make a formidable team as they travel the South hunting down those with a bounty on their head before arriving at the Candieland plantation, where Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) now owns Brünnhilde amongst his other slaves - who are kept in line by Samuel L. Jackson's terrifying Stephen.
Following his previous film, the occasionally entertaining but sadly misfiring Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained shows that Tarantino is still capable of delivering magic. Despite dealing with such a shameful period of human history there are frequent laughs, including a brilliant Blazing Saddles-esque Klu Klux Klan scene, punchy action scenes, a great soundtrack and stunning cinematography.
All the above would mean little without a strong cast, and it is here that Django Unchained really excels.
Foxx brings an understated dignity to the title roll, while Waltz - easily the best thing in 'Basterds' - is again superb as the charismatic Schultz. Jackson and DiCaprio turn in some of the best performances of their careers, while Don Johnson and Jonah Hill are among those making notable cameos.
With its uncomfortable subject matter, high levels of gore and a running length not far short of three hours Django Unchained won't be for everyone, but it is as fine a piece of entertainment as you'll see all year.
MTV.co.uk verdict: 9/10