First of all I have a confession to make, I didn’t watch this film so that you don’t have to, I watched most of this film so that you don’t have to and even though I switched it off from utter boredom after 2 hours and 4 minutes and with 30 more minutes to run and the so-called plot moving towards its climax I feel that I can confidently state – don’t worry a jot if you’ve never seen this film, you haven’t missed out on anything and there will be tens of thousands of other much more productive and/or enjoyable things to do with any spare two and a half hours that come along during your lifetime.
There’s a review on IMDB that mentions the first quarter hour of the film as being its best and most tense and I’d agree with that, but lets step aside from that and consider the plot whilst at the same time keeping to mind that this is a Quentin Tarantino film and he doesn’t make reality films, watching his films is like reading a Marvel comic, you know its trash but you enjoy it all the more because its trash.
The Inglourious Basterds – and is there any truth in the story that the word bastard was mis-spelt deliberately so as not to upset the American equivalent of “Outraged of Surrey” – are a group of Jewish American infantry men who are recruited to murder Nazi’s during the latter part of WW2, a sort of A Team with lots of blood (this is Tarantino), and erm, well, thats the plot really, you’re probably thinking that its going to take some padding out to last for two and a half hours and you’d be right, it takes some padding out.
The first quarter hour is very good, very good indeed, if Tarantino made this first scene on the very first day of filming then everyone must have gone to bed that night feeling very pleased with themselves – a Nazi SS officer visits a remote farmhouse in occupied France and in a chillingly pseudo friendly manner invites himself into the farmer home, compliments him on his family, asks for a drink of milk and then over the next ten minutes explains his job, he is a Jew-Hunter and he is gathering information on a local Jewish family who have gone missing, the farmer tells him what he knows, lies to him, tells him that the family escaped to Switzerland but slowly he starts to break and Tarantinos camera moves towards the floor, under the floorboards, and there are the Jewish neighbours hiding and not daring to breathe while their hunter drinks milk inches above their head.
Its a very good scene.
And then instantly the film goes shit – cue the scene in which Brad Pitt is introducing himself to his hand picked set of Jewish American Nazi Hunters, the handful of soldiers who are going to wreak terror amongst the whole of the German Army and you start to smell one of those terrible scripts from the 1980s crap Saturday evening TV show “The A Team” and in Lt Aldo Raine Brad Pitt is playing his very own Hannibal Smith in the very same corny way that George Peppard but with added corn.
Eventually the thin and well padded out storyline finds the viewer in Paris in 1944 at a small cinema that has been selected for a Nazi propaganda film premiere where the whole of the Nazi party upper echelon, including Mr Hitler, are attending, and conveniently the Inglourious Basterds (spelled wrongly so as not to offend anyone) are also in Paris on a mission to…blow up the Nazi party upper echelon.
Yes, its definitely the A Team.
And then just when everyone is meeting at the cinema for the gala premiere night…
I switched off.
I have however read many of the 1000+ comments and reviews that this film got on IMDB and quite honestly it sounds like it actually got worse from the point that I switched off, hard to believe but thats what those brave people who stayed on to watch the last half hour say, and reading about what happened in that last half hour I can only say that my half hour spent cutting my toe mails and picking the wax out of my ears was much more productive than if I’d wasted any more time watching this pile of tripe.
Inglourious Basterds – I watched most if it so that you don’t have to.