Inglourious Basterds (2009) starring Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth directed by Quentin Tarantino Movie Review

Inglourious Basterds (2009)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Denis Ménochet and Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Not So Glorious

SS colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), nicknamed "The Jew Hunter" arrives at the home of a French dairy farmer where after questioning has the Jewish family he is hiding underneath the floor boards murdered except for Shosanna Dreyfus who manages to escape the bloodshed. Three years later and Shosanna is running a theatre where she plans to mass murder many Nazi officers who are to show up for a premier. Meanwhile Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) has recruited a group of American Jews to form the Basterds a group whose mission it is to murder Nazi's and who ironically have same plan to pull off a mass Nazi murder at the theatre.

The opening scene to "Inglourious Basterds" is the one which takes place in the French dairy farm and it is a glorious scene. In that scene Quentin Tarantino treats the audience with rich detail, music, camera work, exceptional acting and of course bloody violence. It is one of the best openings I have seen to a movie in a long time as it has style and Christoph Waltz who in that single scene gives us horror and humour when it comes to his character.

But that opening scene is in many ways indicative of the whole movie as it takes its time with Tarantino in no rush to move the story along as he seems to want us to drink in everything which goes on in the scene right down to a moth which lands on the table and climbs up the side of a glass of milk. But with every scene ending up like this it makes "Inglourious Basterds" laboured which may explain why it runs to 153 minutes. It ends up meaning many a scene ends up feeling indulgent, dialogue for the sake of dialogue rather tan taking the story anywhere.

Now in fairness I applaud Tarantino purely because he has a vision and makes a movie to how he wants but in this case his vision gets away from him or gets away from working for the audience. It turns "Inglourious Basterds" from entertainment to art as the look and styling at times dominate the narrative. Despite that it is hard to knock Tarantino when it comes to the action and he allows Christoph Waltz to deliver that award winning performance which is a joy to watch.

What this all boils down to is that "Inglourious Basterds" in truth disappointed me because of after so many rave reviews it didn't live up to expectations. It is a case that it certainly has its moments but far too often feels like the style has dominated the story.