2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Inglourious Basterds (Single-Disc Edition) (DVD)
I've never seen a Tarantino film before, only because none of his films interested me enough, so 2009's "Inglourious Basterds" is my first taste from his repertoire.
The first time I tried to watch "Inglourious Basterds" I gave up around the 50-minute mark. Don't get me wrong, the long opening sequence was great but the film bogged down with its focus on a French theater during the German occupation of WWII and the accompanying interminable dialogue (in subtitles). I just wasn't ready for this. I was expecting a Dirty Dozen-styled WWII film with lots of action and all that goes with it. What I got instead was a plot that focused on the aforementioned theater accompanied by long sessions of mostly subtitled dialogue.
Well, I finally decided to give it a second chance with the understanding that this wasn't some typical war flick. Strangely, the "interminable dialogue (with subtitles)" pulled me in and I slowly became engrossed in the story, which isn't hard to follow. I discovered that the drama is only occasionally interrupted by flashes of extreme violence. Until the end, that is, where all hell literally breaks loose.
There ARE elements that bring to mind "The Dirty Dozen", including a group of anti-heroes intent on mercilessly obliterating as many Germans as possible and the fact that the real action doesn't kick in until the final act, but "Basterds" is hardly a Dirty Dozen clone. It may borrow a bit from notable films of the past but it absolutely possesses its own refreshing originality.
All great films have great characters. With "Basterds" we have the stunning Mélanie Laurent as the cinema proprietor, who drips with vengeance toward the Nazis; Christoph Waltz as SS Col. Landa, who mercilessly hunts down Jews, an articulate and suave love-to-hate villain; Brad Pitt as the almost-comical, but entertaining and memorable, leader of the Basterds; and super-sharp Diane Kruger as a German actress & British spy.
Tarantino is renown as a great modern director, and so it is. "Basterds" shines with confidence, style and a sense of the unexpected from beginning to end, the perfect antidote to the roll-your-eyes "blockbuster" syndrome that plagues modern cinema.