Starring: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Diane Kruger
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Running Time: 153 mins
Inglourious Basterds is an American film about a band of Jewish U.S. soldiers, nicknamed ‘The Basterds’, whose plans to attack and assassinate Nazi leaders become mixed up with those of a vengeful Parisian cinema owner, as they attempt to evade capture by the cunning ‘Jew Hunter’: Colonel Hans Landa of the SS.
After what may be a slight blip of Tarantino’s portfolio, with the two Kill Bills and Jackie Brown, this is such a brilliant classic, that encompasses some of his most famous and most beloved techniques, as well as stunning performances all around, making for a thrilling and entertaining watch.
Starting with the layout and style of the film, it’s the first since 1994 that really harks back to the genius of Pulp Fiction. With four or five different stories, all seemingly unconnected, yet somehow coinciding, it’s a clever and intriguing plot that creates constant tension, excitement and drama all the way through.
The story, although entirely fictitious, is something else of pure brilliance. Along with all of the coinciding plot lines, the concept of the film’s story is so important within the context of the Second World War. Luckily, Tarantino puts a very comedic touch to the story, so you can have a bit of fun with the way it manipulates history, so rather than being a more intelligent idea, it is a very fun, entertaining story.
And, of course, in true Quentin Tarantino fashion, there’s a whole lot of blood and guts in this film. Not as much as you may expect from the famed director, especially within the context of a war, but there is still that trademark gore (in a more comedic way than in previous films) that is great to see.
I would also say that this is probably Tarantino’s funniest film. Along with the insane story, the crazy characters and complete satire of the Nazis add to a great level of comedy throughout that makes it an even more entertaining film.
But what is by far the best part of this film is the performances. Brad Pitt is hilarious, Daniel Bruhl is relentless, Melanie Laurent is just fantastic, but it was the stand-out performance by Christoph Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa that was truly incredible.
Not only does he portray the absolutely chilling nature of the cunning genius Nazi officer that is the so-called ‘Jew Hunter’ through his unpredictable persona, he’s absolutely hilarious. The way he switches between one of his four languages every other minute is both brilliant and hilarious, as well as his seemingly overly friendly attitude to his victims, which completely alters the concept of the Nazi officer.
Overall, this gets an 8.9, because it’s an exciting, fun, action-packed story with brilliant performances and an intelligent and intriguing plot.