August 24, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

I just finished watching the newest Quentin Tarantino movie, Inglourious Basterds. Set in WWII, the film focuses on the exploits of a group of American soldiers who kill Nazis.

Or so I thought.

(the following is spoiler-free)

Don't get me wrong, it's a funny film, but in a weird way. It has the usual Tarantino quality of excellent conversation. Granted, much of it is subtitled French or German, but it's done well and still captivating.

It is missing the usual Tarantino touch of character redemption.

The movie does drag in some parts, getting bogged down in long, tension-filled setups with underwhelming or confusing payoff. At one point in the middle of the film, extensive character buildup is wasted in the sudden death of the subject.

While that may be considered just whining or nit-picking, it's aggrivated by the fact that the third act goes way, waaay off in left field.

On the other hand, at times this story is masterful. Nazi Germans, often portrayed aristocrats capable of great intelligence as well as great evil, are exactly that. The French resistance is respectably crafty, Amercians the typical gung-ho cowboys, and the British are absolutely nailed.

So while this film's good for a laugh, it's hard to take seriously, especially given the ending. All told, not Tarantino's best.


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