Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Inglourious Basterds

Centurion has already gotten another watch since my (harsh) review so I had high hopes that the rest of the Bender Wagon’s offerings would be a joy to behold.  I then remembered that Inglourious Basterds was next on the list.  This displeased me.  I didn’t like the film first time around but with the aid of my rose tinted Fassbender Spectacles I did allow myself a glimmer of hope.

PLOT:  Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) and his band of soldiers are deep in Nazi occupied France scaring the shit out of the Nazis.  After escaping execution from Colonel Landa (Christoph Waltz) cinema owner Shoshanna (Melanie Laurent) meets a young Nazi war hero whose crush on her means that the premier of his new film will take place in her cinema.  Everyone but Hitler decides to blow up the damn cinema. There are interweaving plot lines which play like an extended homage to Tarantino’s back catalogue.  There are characters which never meet.  There is a western theme soundtrack.  There are many deaths.  Samuel L Jackson leaves with the briefcase…….oh wait….no that’s not right.  END PLOT

The plot is typical Tarantino and has all the hallmarks of a Tarantino film.  This is an insult and not a compliment. 

I think my dislike of Inglourious Basterds is because I don’t understand what the film is supposed to be.  Whenever the Basterds are on screen the film plays like a very black comedy but the opening with Landa and LaPadite and all of Fassbender’s scenes play like a thriller.  The tone shifts again in the final section when they reach the cinema and it becomes a cheesy cartoon-like mess – even Waltz’s performance changes and Landa becomes a camp caricature of the Landa in the opening scene.

Christoph Waltz (up to a point) and Melanie Laurent put in very strong performances but aside from Brad Pitt acting through his chin the Basterds are the weakest and least interesting part of the entire film.  I think this is why the final section kills the film for me as it is very Basterd heavy.

German born and German speaking but Irish raised and accented Fassbender does very well in speaking fluent German with a posh English accent.  The reason he is getting his own season just as his career is taking off shows in the basement scene alone.

The soundtrack is typical Tarantino and has all the hallmarks of a Tarantino film.  This is an insult and not a compliment.

I need someone to sit me down and explain the reasons for all the hype which surrounds Tarantino and Inglourious Basterds.  I hate everything about Tarantino’s films as much as I love everything about del Toros.  If I am being truly honest I just hate the smug and self-aggrandising prick that is Tarantino.

Everything about Inglourious Basterds ebbed and flowed with this weird disjointed feel to it, much like this review, so I am just giving the damn film a 5/10.  It is unlikely that I will be having a Diane Kruger season any time soon so I will have no cause to watch or think about this film ever again.  This pleases me.  


  1. Hahahaha I hate Tarantino as the smug self-aggrandising prick he is too.....but I love his films! Funnily enough though whilst I liked IB I didn't think it reached the heights of being his best.
    I must admit that Tarantino is second on my list of directors/film makers I rate the highest. Only a certain rotund ex-Englishman named Hitchcock beats him!

  2. I’m a huge QT fanboy and have been since I first saw Reservoir Dogs in my teens, still prefer that to Pulp Fiction myself. I’ll be honest and tell you that I love all his films to varying degrees.

    Basterds is a particular favorites for a variety of reasons. First and foremost it’s one of his most mature films right up there with Kill Bill Vol 2.

    Basterds has a lot of layers to it along with a nice dissection of how film skew our perceptions while at the same time kind of pointing the mirror back at us in that last act with the wish fulfillment finale. I could probably go on and on but QT major strength is his ability to write incredibly sharp dialogue, here sans pop culture reference, and take 60 & 70’s Grindhouse type films and elevating them.

    I’ll stop gushing to just say that there are tons in your camp as well that just hate his style of filmmaking.

  3. I still haven't watched that movie, but it's Tarrantino (Pulp Fiction) and all. He's an acquired taste.

  4. Brent: del Toro is my favourite hands down. I would have to think about second place very hard but I promise you Tarantino wont make the top ten ;-)

    Daniel: Reservoir Dogs has always been my favourite Tarantino and I do like Pulp Fiction but I have no great affection for it.

    I admit I haven't watched either of the Kill Bills as I just cannot sit through two Uma Thurman lead films.

    I like that you described the part I hated the most as wish fulfilment. I never saw it that way and now you have pointed it out I can't argue with that.

    I can't argue against the writing for the first part of the film. In the scenes when the characters are just sitting talking the dialogue can't be faulted.

    I am fully on board with this film until it gets to the final section in the cinema and then the switch is flicked and it just begins to irritate the hell out of me!

    You are also always very welcome to gush and in the unlikely event you taken a dislike to del Toro I will be there to back him up :-)

    D: Tarantino is a very acquired taste and it's one that yet to grow on me.

    That's why this film is so frustrating as it is brilliant up until the last act and I (apparently) can't get past it!

  5. No problem K, I love Del Toro so we'd be gushing in the same general direction!

  6. I get that the final act is what kind of messes with you K but if you ever revisit and view it as and exploitation film fantasy, like 60’s and 70’s blacksploitation films where the black hero always brings down the man, here its kind of from a Jewish view point.

  7. Maybe I will revisit it in a few years down the line when I've got some more film genres under my belt to see if I get any more out of it.

  8. That makes me smile but then again you are talking to the guy who just found Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown on Bluray for dirt cheap and just about jumped up and down in joy ;-)

  9. Not a good look for a grown man mind you!

  10. It isn't the most dignified of looks granted but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to doing the same when season 3 of the Sons of Anarchy arrived today - 3days before its official release!

    God Bless Amazon. I pre-ordered First Class in the naive hope it wasn't a postal fluke!

  11. I had forgotten that this was a Tarantino film until I saw your post. That explains why I didn't like it. I just don't get him and I don't get his movies. I am okay with being in the supposed minority. :-)

  12. It didn't get this film either but I will give it the benefit of the doubt and watch it again when I get more film experience to see if I get anything more out of it!

    Thank you for reading :-)