Running time: 153 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 18
UK Release Date: 19th August 2009
Watched on DVD Monday 29th March 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I’ll admit I’m not the greatest fan of Mr Tarantino’s work, for me he can blow hot and cold. He sometimes seems to be more interested in putting in subtle little twists and nods to obscure films that will only be admired by a certain few, rather than making a coherent movie. In this film, however, the twists and nods either too subtle for me, which I suspect, or he’s actually attempted to make a movie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect and it’s very, very long, but it does all tie together quite neatly in the end.
When Shosanna Dreyfus escapes from the Nazis having seen her family shot, she thought she’d never see the man responsible for it, Col. Hans Landa, again. However, fate has a nasty way of playing evil tricks on people like Shosanna. Four years later she owns and runs a cinema in Paris, where, thanks to the attentions of a young German war hero, Pvt. Fredrick Zoller, she is to stage a German film premiere. All the German High Command, including Hitler himself, is to attend. News of this event comes through to Lt. Aldo Raine and his band of Inglorious Basterds, who are behind enemy lines causing havoc and fear in the German ranks. They are to destroy the cinema with the help of a spy, Bridget von Hammersmark, but the newly appointed head of security, Col. Hans Landa has other plans. I think that’s a pretty good summary, without giving too much away (I hope).
Let me first say that as a whole, I really enjoyed watching this film. It’s not Tarantino’s best, that’s still a tie between Pulp Fiction (1994) and Jackie Brown (1997) in my book. The performances are all outshone by Christoph Waltz as Col. Hans Landa; he quite deservedly won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar and BAFTA awards (plus quite a few others I see). Honourable mentions go to Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine (loved the accent), Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus, Eli Roth as Sgt. Donny Donowitz, Michael Fassbender as Lt. Archie Hicox, Diane Kruger as Bridget von Hammersmark and Daniel Brühl as Pvt. Fredrick Zoller.
Although I’m quite used to watching foreign language films, I found the switching between scenes in English, to scenes in German or French with subtitles quite distracting. Don’t get me wrong, many of the scenes were very well done and quite absorbing to watch, but they didn’t always fit together as well as they might. The music was pretty good too, although I did feel I was watching a Spaghetti Western at a couple of points near the beginning. So, over all it’s quite an engrossing film, if a little difficult to watch in one sitting at nearly two and a half hours in duration. But having said that, I do recommend it, it’s worth seeing if only for the performance of Christoph Waltz and Brad Pitt’s Tennessee accent.
My score: 8.4/10
IMDb Site: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0361748/
Official Site: http://www.inglouriousbasterds-movie.com/