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Inglourious Basterds reviews

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CRASH! BANG! WALLOP! That’s not the intro you were expecting, and surpinglorious-basterds1risingly to me, it wasn’t the opening to Inglourious Basterds, either. Quentin Tarantino’s new film begins at no great pace, with slow langerous shots of the French countryside, and plenty of dialogue. There is a burst of violence, as there is throughout the film, but these do not have the same edge as in Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction.

Tarantino goes back to his earlier work to great success in Inglorious. The funky soundtrack, the way characters speak like no-one else does in reality, and Tarantino’s love of genre and love of films themselves. It is no coincidence that the film centres around a small, independent cinema.

When I first saw the trailer, I expected a Kill Bill Vol.1 remake, with Nazis. If you want to see that, you won’t be disappointed. There are some nice, gory, video nasty style prosthetics that will keep the Nazi-hating sadist inside you happy. But the bulk of the film is plot driven dialogue, which I wasn’t expecting. There is a lot of talking in this film, and a lot of it doesn’t develop character. The Basterds themselves are introduced to the audience sparingly – Tarantino has concentrated on plot with this film, and neglected to develop any characters apart from Shosanna Dreyfus, played well by Melanie Laurent. Aside from that, the characters are one-dimensional. From Tarantino’s high water-mark of Jackie Brown, character has taken a backseat.

Inglourious Basterds then is an attempt by Tarantino to get back what was most commercially successful – making everything really, really cool. And this is a cool film – but also a long film. A long film without reason. Characters aren’t developed, some characters come and go, and the story plods on at a slow pace without adding anything to the story. Your head will go with the film, but your bum will go numb. Go see it, but get comfy seats. Your bum will thank you.

As a side note, this is one of the first modern films I’ve seen which hasn’t (to my knowledge) been given the Kermode Seal of Approval (TM), so I’m off to listen to the new Mayo/Kermode podcast and have my opinion re-affirmed/corrected.


Written by bjobbo

August 16, 2009 at 10:29 am