By Tara Elzey
One comes to expect many things of a “traditional” Tarantino film.Â For example, it seems guaranteed there will be many gruesome and eye-covering bash scenes, crisscrossing plot lines, several characters played by the usual actors – Samuel L. Jackson has a nifty voice over – new catch-phrases and a Quentin cameo – which is, unfortunately, missing from this newest film. Though some of these attributes are present, Inglorious Bastards moviegoers are in for a pleasant surprise.
It seems odd to say a “pleasant” surprise. Â This film is more of a period piece and foreign film, new genres for Tarantino. The plot centers on an entertaining, Nazi-killing group of Jewish-American soldiers and a French-Jewish woman set on revenge. Though it is strikingly different from many of his other films, it retains the Tarantino feel.
Tarantino has journeyed into the oft-traveled movie land of killing Nazis. In the last ten years, there have been dozens of movies that have somehow depicted the horror of the Holocaust. Â This is not the only thing familiar about the film; it is loosely based on an Italian movie bearing the same name, released in 1977. It is not a direct remake, although Tarantino does discuss many of the influences of the original script. His movie diverges notably from its namesake.
Inglorious Bastards does not follow the usual script for a Tarantino film such as scenes of mindless gore that cause a cringe.Â The violence is still there, but is counterbalanced by a justifiable villain. Â In hardly any circumstance would carving swastikas into a human forehead seem appropriate or cheer-worthy; however, you find yourself applauding Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) as he actually performs such an action.Â Those suffering this brutal scalping and clubbing are the much-hated Nazis. Â The same Nazis that tortured and killed Jews, homosexuals, disabled and anyone else who dared to deviate from their prototype.Â Your eyes are wide open as you watch some serious Nazi skull busting ensue.
As always, there is much emphasis on violence throughout the film, but the pull of Inglorious Bastards is not the “Bear-Jew” pulverizing Nazi generals’ faces with a bat.Â Instead, the clever, insightful dialogue and the character-driven plot are what will hold the audiences captive for the more than two-hour running time. The drawling Pitt, the cunning Melanie Laurent and the Nazi, nicknamed “Jew-hunter,” Christoph Waltz are so engrossing, I doubt time will be an issue.