Reviews & Previews - Inglourious Basterds

Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at 06:00 PM

Inglourious Basterds

By: S. Tran

Starring: Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Christoph Walz
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Rated: R

World War Weird

No that's not a typo in the title. That's how the name of the film is actually spelled. The alternate spelling should give you a clue that this movie is going to be a little different than most war movies. It also doesn't help that the trailers make you believe this is a Brad Pitt film when in fact he is only in the movie for maybe 30 minutes.

It would be difficult to describe this movie as anything but a Quentin Tarantino war film. This means that like his other efforts, there is only a minimal connection to the world as we know it. Much of the film contains the usual Tarantino trademarks: sharp dialogue, over the top characters and sudden, brutal violence.

There are two main story lines in the film. The first involves Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine who leads a group of American Jewish soldiers in a convert war against Nazis in occupied France. The second story involves Laurent as Shoshanna, a young Jewish woman who seeks her own revenge for the deaths of her family at the hands of the dreaded SS officer (Walz). Of course the two stories dovetail into each other and Raine and Shoshanna join forces to achieve their shared goals.

Based on the trailers I was looking forward to seeing Pitt and his soldiers battling the Germans. Unfortunately, most of the film doesn't really focus on them. Instead its Shoshanna's story that gets the bulk of the screen time and Pitt is absent for most of the movie. This is a shame because his character is easily the most entertaining part of the film.

While the rest of the cast is good and the story itself fairly interesting the movie only really gathers steam when Raine is in the scenes. Without him things slow down. While the movie runs about two and a half hours it's really a 2 hour movie at best. Some scenes are drawn out far too long. At some point even dialogue from Tarantino can't make a dull scene work.

However, for the scenes that do work he manages to create a nice tension that hangs in the air. You sit for upwards of 10 minutes at a time with a sense of impending dread, believing that something horrible will happen any minute.

I think this movie will probably appeal more to people who are fans of Tarantino's other films. It may be too different for the casual film goer to enjoy. It may also disappoint people who came to see Pitt in a traditional war movie. Still, it's worth checking out and does provide good entertainment, even if it's not his best work.


3 out of 5 stars.


NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to