By Toby Huxley (Wrexham)
SPOILERS: I wouldn’t normally include spoilers but in order for me to make my opinion on this film, I need to.
Let me start off by saying I like Tarantino. In fact I love Tarantino. His movies are normally great, the action is fun and enjoyable, the characters are well written and are easy to route for, overall they’re normally a good time.
Unfortunately, I can only praise Inglourious Basterds for a maximum of maybe 7 minutes of its total runtime, because the rest of it is just mind numbing, blood spewing, screaming crap. And that’s me putting it lightly.
I can’t really write a coherent review for this film as my brain has been scrambled from the Tarantino wet-dream I just witnessed, but I’ll try my best.
Firstly, the plot, because my God this film is 3 films in one. There’s a film about the ‘Inglourious Basterds’, a film about a female Jew survivor and a film that tries to have some sense of historical accuracy. The first film, is the one I wanted to see, as it is the films NAME after all. The second film, sure, I’ll take that, why not, but the third, just no. The Inglorious Bastards are a group a Jewish Americans who are a special task force within the US army. This is a great way to make the protagonists easy to route for, and makes their cause all the more understandable. However, its members, are not as easily likeable. Aldo Raine, the leader of the group is a clear mockery of a badass American, which is fine, it’s cool. He has a huge scar along his neck which is clear to see, which makes you think, hey I’m going to see a badass flashback of how this guy got his throat slit and managed to survive.
Nope, Tarantino gives the finger and lets you think of a way which he got the scar. The Bear Jew, or ‘Donny’ is the ‘big guy’. But unfortunately, his character is used for about 1 minute flat near the start of the film when he bashes in a Nazi officer’s head, making you think hey, I’m going to get more badass scenes of the Bear Jew. No, Tarantino hits you with the finger again. You can have the one scene of him actually BEING the bear Jew, but for the rest of the film he can just be some loudmouthed guy from New York (I’m assuming). And finally Hugo Stiglitz, possibly the biggest finger from Tarantino in this whole film.
I was looking forward to seeing Stiglitz being an absolute badass, shooting up Nazi’s like it’s his last few minutes on earth. He gets an awesome intro with a sweet guitar rift and his name in bold letters, so the audience knows who that this guy is the don. BUT, all of this is thrown out of the window when Stiglitz has about 30 seconds of pure awesomeness before ultimately being shot and killed. Following his death, I thought, hey, maybe he ain’t dead, he just got a sick intro with a guitar rift and fully devoted backstory, surely Tarantino won’t kill him. Well, silly old me thought wrong.
I will say that the bar scene in this film that occurs in the Nazi’s cellar, is awesome. The suspense is amazing, and you can really feel the tension getting stronger throughout all of it. Which makes the payoff violence a lot more satisfying. Right up until after everyone dies and some random German Soldier becomes the main character for like 2 minutes until he is ultimately shot as well. Another finger from Tarantino just when you thought there was going to be some degree of emotion within this film.
And now, for the final gripe I have with this film, the ending. Oh, my, God, the ending. WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING HERE! Hitler dies in this film, HE ACTUALLY DIES! Tarantino just decided to give history a middle finger as well, and decides that his two-dimensional, un-interesting characters get to kill Hitler in this film! Like what? WHAT!? The final sequence involves Bear Jew and I don’t even know the other guy’s name, shooting up a cinema of Nazi’s and Germans running for the door(which is locked) and being locked down. Now I’m all for Nazi’s being killed and all, but this scene didn’t sit well with me, like not at all. It made me feel I was watching a terrorist attack video, with women screaming for their lives scrambling over each other, and that really isn’t how this scene should make you feel.
The trailer for Inglourious Basterds made me think it was going to be a badass, well-written, believable action war story which I was going to have an awesome time with, especially since I just got done playing Wolfenstein, and I couldn’t get enough of dead Nazi’s. But this, this just isn’t what I thought it was going to be, it’s the exact opposite. You tricked me Tarantino, you tricked me good, and for that my friend, I give you a middle finger.