Synopsis: Jewish-American soldiers, the titular ‘Basterds’ hunt, kill and scalp Nazis in WW2. Massacre survivor Shosanna makes her own plans to bring down the Third Reich.
Thank God Tarantino’s back on track! After the double whammy of disappointments, Kill Bill Vol.2 and Death Proof, the director returns with this blistering, uber-violent, very funny ‘masterpiece (his words!).
The cast handle the script brilliantly with standouts being Pitt and Waltz. Pitt’s accent and jutting jaw are hilariously OTT and Waltz’s ‘Jew Hunter’ is another deliciously watch-able villainous and charismatic bastard that makes the audience wait in suspense for the bouts of (often) vicious violence.
Tarantino unfolds the story with trademark chapter headings and makes it plain from the opening title that this is a fairytale fantasy (though set in a very real, very sad time of world history). The script crackles with dark humour and cool characters, flying high above the (frequently) boring dialogue of Tarantino’s last couple of efforts. Building to a bloodthirsty climax in a cinema, the setting is fitting for a film that is all about film; filmy film where cinematic references are plentiful and the film-lovers in the audience are in on the jokes.
The opening scene is classic Tarantino and sets the tone for the rest of the movie with its promise of violence, a cracking villain and another Tarantino heroine out for revenge. If you were losing patience with the masterful cinematic magpie, give Inglorious Basterds a spin and then settle in for the long wait till ‘Django Unchained’.