I feel very conflicted about this film. There were good things about it, and then were bad things about it, and I just can’t make up my mind how I feel about it overall. There were probably more things I didn’t like, to be honest. The characters were far too hipster, for one. Way too much quirkiness going on. The dialogue wasn’t very good and filled with cliches. I thought Logan Lerman was severely lacking in charisma and Emma Watson was just bad and not natural at all. Her character was the manic pixie dream girl trope incarnate. I straight-up hated some of the film, really. It wasn’t all bad though. Ezra Miller was good, and in a completely different way to his amazing performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011). Near the end, it got quite dark and interesting. It was a little too late though, and it still ended as a film to comfort teenagers in their confusion and misery of adolescence.
I actually had to watch this twice before writing this review. And I’m still a little undecided. I’m a huge Quentin Tarantino fan, and have been for many years. That, plus the myriad of glowing reviews this got, had me expecting a lot. I wasn’t crazy about it the first time I watched it, but I liked it better the second time. One of my main problems was that it felt so similar to Inglourious Basterds (2009) and also the Kill Bill films, to some extent. It just kinda seemed like Tarantino was doing the same revenge movie, except with African-Americans instead of Jews. I guess the other major reason I wasn’t so keen on it was the character of Django. Jamie Foxx did a great job, but I just wasn’t all that compelled by his character or his relationship to Kerry Washington’s character. I didn’t feel that their relationship was developed enough. It was quite long, which I wouldn’t mind, except that a couple of parts dragged a bit. Now, with all that negative stuff out of the way, let’s talk about what I liked. I loved so much of it! It’s wonderfully shot by Tarantino, and the cinematography was nice. It had lots of great dialogue, of course, though not quite as sharp as other films of his, I thought. There was lots of humour in it too. All Tarantino’s films have a funny side to them, but I thought some of it was a little obvious here. Something else Tarantino is known for is his soundtracks, and he’s delivered another awesome one here. I just wish they had been used more effectively, again, like his previous films. The entire cast was great. Christoph Waltz was fantastic, though not quite as impressive as his turn as Hans Landa. Leonardo DiCaprio was excellent and gave what might be my favourite ever performance from him. Samuel L. Jackson was hilarious and amazing. Washington was good, even though her character didn’t get a lot to do. It’s far better than Death Proof (2007), but still not as good as his best work. I still think I’ll need to watch this a few more times before truly deciding how I feel about it. In the end, even the weakest Tarantino film is better than most other films.