Django Unchained is a pretty decent action movie that everyone is raving about as if it had a God-like cinematic quality.  It’s good, but it’s not THAT good and here’s why.

Django starts Jamie Foxx as Django, Christopher Waltz as the man who frees and mentors him and Don Johnson, Leonardo DeCaprio, Jonah Hill and Walton Goggins as various Southern racists and Samuel L. Jackson in probably one of his best roles ever.  The basic plot you probably know.  Waltz is a bounty hunter and only Foxx’s Django can identify his targets.  He frees Django and they both discover he has a natural affinity for being a gunslinger.  Eventually, the duo go after Django’s wife, who is owned by Leonardo DeCaprio’s character.

Directed by Quentin Tarantino, the movie moves well and has a pretty solid story.  But Tarantino is still doing a remake here of sorts.  More of a “reimagining” of the original Django.  (The actor who played the original Django, Franco Nero, has a cameo as a losing Mandingo fighter owner.)  Personally, I’m not a huge fan of that, but since I didn’t see the original Django, it didn’t bother me.  But since the original Django didn’t involve a slave turning into a gunfighter, why even call the movie Django?  The answer probably is that Quentin Tarantino is a movie geek and he loves the movie.  This is his homage.

But homages don’t rise to the level of greatness.  There are derivative movies that do.  Star Wars is an incredibly derivative movie that borrows from many sources but is still a pretty great movie.  I seriously doubt people will be watching Django 20 years from now.  Pulp Fiction, on the other hand, is a classic; a great movie with original scenes.  Everything in Django is a composite of something else, mixed with relentless N-bombs.

The audience in the theater loved this movie, but they were the same audience that loved Inglorious Basterds.  Something I found uneven, weird and with an incredibly misleading trailer.  Django holds up a lot better, but I don’t think the audience knew the difference.  Django feels more like an event or product.  Calling Django Unchained a great movie, is like calling Quentin Tarantino, Orson Wells or calling a roller coaster an epic piece of art.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good action movie.  The sequences are well done and most of it makes sense.  (Although, don’t check Wikipedia for the year that dynamite was invented.)  But it’s Die Hard, not the Godfather.  With that in mind, I give Django Unchained 7.5 keggers out of 10.  Totally worth seeing.