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An Inglorious effort considering the opportunities
Sep 18, 2010 09:56 AM 1629 Views





Having seen the earlier 1978 film with a different spelling (Inglorious Bastards), I don't think this film was an improvement on the WWII exploitation film. The most surprising aspect to this movie that seems to go widely unnoticed is how uneven it is. For example, almost all the scenes with the Germans are performed very realistically, and without a doubt, Christoph Waltz's performance as the smarmy Hans Landa is wonderful.

All the scenes featuring him, Mélanie Laurent as the vengeful movie theater owner, and the young upstart Nazi are acted AND DIRECTED really well. On the other hand, the scenes with the Americans seem to be played for laughs, and all the actors including Brad Pitt appear as caricatures either with ridiculous Southern accents or cardboard personalities.

The English scenes come off very stiff and the actors appear as stereotypical posh types who act as if they were TRYING to be in a David Lean film or a Carol Reed depiction of English bourgeois. They all say "jolly good" or "there's a good chap" as if all British-types talk like that. After having said that, it is obvious Tarantino is making us aware that this is a movie and that it should only be seen as a movie. But if that is the case, then why are all the German actors (aside from the man playing Hitler who is unsuccessfully trying to top EVERY OTHER actor who has played Hitler before him) acting as if they are in an intense German drama?

It strangely makes the Nazis look good and the good guys look like buffoons, but I don't think that was Tarantino's intention. I also didn't think it was possible, but somehow Hitler's imaginary death is incredibly anticlimactic. Yes, he is shot up into cottage cheese, but it almost comes off as secondary to the ticking bomb. I think the film can be summed up in one of my favorite shots in the whole film: a shot where Waltz's fork slowly dives into a sumptuous cake topped with whipped cream. Tarantino has his cake and eats it too. Hey, where did my cake go?!

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