Inglourious Basterds Movie Review

Uploaded on Friday 14 August 2009


Say what you want about Quentin Tarantino but hes a genius filmmaker who doesnt play by Hollywood rules. Hes a rogue, a rebel who calls his own shots and crafts excellent films that are as deranged and brilliant as he is.

In Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino returns with a vengeance, literally! The director calls his World War II payback fantasy his Jewish revenge movie. Indeed, from Kill Bill to kill Hitler (played in the movie by Martin Wuttke), Tarantino is great at showing the roaring rampage of revenge.

Come to think of it, I cannot recall a full-out revenge movie within the war genre. Inglourious Basterds is the first war-based film Ive seen where the oppressed (the Jews) are out to get the enemy (the Nazis), one scalp at a time.

Brad Pitt stars as Lieutenant Aldo Raine. His nickname is Aldo the Apache for his penchant for scalping Nazis in the tradition of American Apache Indians. Pitt, affecting an overbite and a countrified twang, relishes his role as the leader of the pack. Were in the Nazi killin business, Aldo says in one of his famous lines, and cousin, business is a-boomin.

Business is booming for Aldo and his men. Labeled The Basterds by the Nazis, Aldo and his Jewish American soldiers perform swift, shocking acts of retribution. They become the Third Reichs nuisance. Theyre treated as annoying rats by the giant cat known as Colonel Hans Landa (the fantastic Christoph Waltz).

Set in France during the Second World War and told in five chapters, Tarantino employs a linear narrative structure to tell his revenge fantasy. The opening of the film is during 1941, where Shosanna Dreyfuss (Melanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Landa.

The conclusion is a cinema lovers dream. Set inside a movie theater and featuring characters such as a film critic, an actress, and a cinema owner, Tarantino capitalizes on his own love of the movie industry to hatch his diabolical plans. The fourth chapter of the film is even labeled Operation Kino or Operation Cinema.

But the writer-director also adores women, and he does not use the female characters as just mere playthings. You may dismiss Tarantinos films as testosterone-driven, but look closer, and there are always strong female roles in each and every one of his movies.

In Inglourious Basterds, we get two powerful female characters. Theres Shoshanna, who will emerge as the unspoken member of the Basterds, and undercover agent Bridget von Hammersmark (the glamorous Diane Kruger), a beloved German actress who wants to see the fall of the Third Reich.

Tarantino is back with his usual brand of storytelling. When Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz (Til Schweiger) enters the picture, the director freezes the frame and superimposes the name Hugo Stiglitz in big, bold letters. Stiglitz is a member of the Basterds and has the proclivity of killing the Nazis with a sharp knife. His name is also dreaded by the enemy.

Another name the Nazis hate is Sgt. Donny Donowitz (played by actor-director Eli Roth of Hostel). They labeled him the Bear Jew for killing the Nazis with a bear club. Yes, Inglourious Basterds is violent but its not as sickening as any of the Hostel or Saw films.

Inglourious Basterds is not a perfect film by any means. At 153 minutes, the film is a bit long, and you will certainly feel it towards the lagging middle. Tarantino could have used a little bit of cutting to make the film more fluid. Also, the evil Landas motivation falters towards the end without any satisfying explanation.

But Christoph Waltz, mark my words, will be nominated and maybe even win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar trophy. His memorable Nazi villain performance is reminiscent of how a relative newcomer named Ralph Fiennes stole everyones thunder in 1993s Schinders List.

Inglourious Basterds is a creative, original film right down to its intentionally misspelled title. It is, in a word, glorious, and left me with an indelible gleeful smile as I was walking out of the theater. Tarantino is one of the few filmmakers who can make me say I love movies!

And for that, Inglourious Basterds gets 3 ½ Die Hitler Die kisses


Language: English

Length: 2:30

Country: United States