, 165min, OmdU
Like INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, DJANGO UNCHAINED is crazily entertaining, brazenly irresponsible and also ethically serious in a way that is entirely consistent with its playfulness. Christoph Waltz, who played the charming, sadistic SS officer Hans Landa in BASTERDS, here plays Dr. King Schultz, a charming, sadistic German bounty hunter (masquerading as an itinerant dentist) whose distaste for slavery makes him the hero’s ally and mentor.
That hero, first glimpsed in shackles and rags on a cold Texas night in 1858, is Django (Jamie Foxx), who becomes Schultz’s sidekick and business partner. Schultz is an amoral gun for hire, tracking down fugitives and habitually choosing the first option offered in the formulation “Wanted: Dead or Alive.” (A.O. Scott)