Written & Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Cinematography By: Robert Richardson
Editor: Sally Menke
CAST: Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Diane Kruger, Christoph Waltz, Daniel Bruhl, Eli Roth, Samm Levine, B.J. Novak, Paul Rust, Omar Doom, Til Schweiger, Michael Fassbender, Mike Myers, Michael Bacall, Rod Taylor, Jacky Ido, Julie Dreyfus
I am going to start off by saying this is not Tarantino’s best film. it is good but not his best. Then again it could just not be my favorite so far of his films.
It breaks him out a little paying attention a little more to history which of course he re-writes for his own purposes. The film shows that Tarantino is a man in love with dialogue and words particularly his own. Like DEATH PROOF there are tons of scenes of dialogue. The dialogue is great but he needs to learn to edit it down.
The film is long and unfortunately feels the same way. Having read the script I knew what I was getting into but still a few times the film managed to surprise me. Though I will warn you it is advertised as an espionage action-oriented war film but knowing Tarantino you should know it’s not exactly like that and almost half the film is in various foreign languages so there is a lot of subtitles. But if you are a true film fan you shouldn’t mind that.
Many scenes feel too long but they are understandable as each scene seems to be Tarantino taking glee in having each scene begin innocently that as it goes on it slowly switches gears into a thriller with impending doom. Then towards the end, the tables turn and show that a certain character has been in control the whole time without letting any other person knowing it.
Christoph Waltz steals the movie as a nazi, who is nicknamed the jew hunter his character is the best written and the actor has fun and truly inhabits the role with steely determination and certain happiness. His mastering and fluency of many languages and dialects is amazing.
Brad Pitt seems to be having fun with his role but it delves into the more ridiculous aspects of the movie and seems more like a character than a real person. Which is the problem with the third act. The third act excites and speeds up the action that had been in the film before but feels more movie action than the real war film finale.
Also considering you filmed in Europe with beautiful buildings interesting locales and beautiful nature you would figure a filmmaker with an eye would use these locations to their fullest. But just as Tarantino has a talent with dialogue and an eye for visuals. He has always seemed a perfect Indie director as he makes his scenes and camerawork feel claustrophobic. This is a tale that needed to be more open it looks like it was shot on a set or soundstage instead of on location in Europe.
I also wish the Basterds had more time to prove themselves and let us get to know them I know his original ideas were much longer so it feels almost like this is a condensed version.
not that impressed by Melanie Laurent she didn’t do anything wrong but she didn’t impress or engage me either and the less said about Director Eli Roth the better it seemed like a natural fit of a character for him but he goes for a ridiculous accent and is way too over the top. He also directed the film within a film NATION’S PRIDE.
I guess I feel the movie had a great bunch of elements and memorable scenes but they don’t merge to make a great movie. This is a mild disappointment.
It is in the Tarantino mold of KILL BILL VOL. 2 AND DEATH PROOF where it is tons of dialogue and a few scenes of extreme shocking violence and action mixed in to keep the audience awake and interested in what is happening. Almost like a gift or payoff for sitting through the previous scenes. Trust me it still isn’t a film that will be easily forgotten.
Plus I wonder if the reason for the last line in the film “This may be my masterpiece” is what Quentin Tarantino really believes about this film.
Now don’t get me wrong I respect Tarantino and get excited when he has a new film out. He is one of my favorite Auteurs, it’s just I hold him to a certain high standard that this one approaches but doesn’t quite rise to that level.
It is a movie best seen on the big screen but you could wait for home video