Originally Posted on July 15, 2009
Critical Value: 8.5/10 Entertainment Value: 9/10
Set in an alternate reality of World War II, Inglorious Basterds tells the story of a group of Jewish American soldiers known as “The Basterds” who are on a mission to kill Nazis in France, as well as a Jewish runaway who survived the massacre of her family.
The word is normally spelled Bastard, but Tarantino told David Letterman, that Basterds, “is the Tarantino way of spelling it.”
Tarantino’s newest film shows why Quentin Tarantino is as popular as he is today. Not popular in a Michael Bay way, for giving cheap thrills, but by also causing his audience to think while also entertaining them with violent and thrilling action sequences.
The acting is excellent for the most part. Those who judged the movie from the trailer may have been repulsed by Brad Pitt’s southern accent. It does sound unusual at first but by his second scene you become accustomed to it since Pitt does a great job of portraying the character. Christoph Waltz, who received praise at the Cannes Film Festival for his role of Hans Landa, is definitely worthy of such praise. His character is nicknamed “the Jew Hunter” in the movie, and is able to come off as sinister, intelligent and charming all at once. Although he was an enemy character he may become many people’s favourite.
One complaint is that “The Basterds” could have been developed more. It was not a personal complaint, but some may not be able to get attached to the characters with the lack of back story for many of them. However, each Basterd brings charisma and presence to the screen for the few minutes when they are on.
Some complain that Inglorious Basterds is a German bashing film, however, one of the main Allied companions is a German. Also, the film tends to bash Hitler the most, anyone offended by that should not be allowed out of their home. As stated before, many of the Bastards also speak German, so the language itself is not mocked. Tarantino’s script also much more credibility due to the use of foreign languages to portray foreign characters. Many parts of the film are subtitled, when characters speak either German or French.
Some may have a problem with this but it is tiresome to see foreign characters portrayed by American or even British ones who do not speak the local language. The subtitles also do not distract from the film’s action since they are never used in the midst of an action sequence. Some may also have a problem with the formatting of the movie, similar to Pulp fiction the story is divided into different sections. The different sections or “chapters” are all related but unlike Pulp Fiction, they are told in chronological order. Bastards, in my opinion, is better than Kill Bill and even Pulp Fiction. Although I liked Kill Bill, I don’t believe it compares to this film.
Even those who do not typically like Tarantino’s work may be impressed with it. The film does have a lot of dialogue, so those expecting constant cheap thrills will probably be disappointed. Also, those who can not stand changes to historical facts, even when such changes are intentional, may be bothered by the film. However, those who want great action as well as great acting and writing, Inglorious Basterds is a must see.