Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France. . .

There are two things you can count on seeing in a Quentin Tarantino movie: cool scenes of dialog, and of course, cool scenes of excessive gore. Both feature in his latest, the absurdly spelled Inglorious Basterds, but they’re accompanied by so much more.

The ballsy title is like the film itself, Basterds is a bold film to make from a director confident he can get away with anything. A multi lingual World War 2 fantasy that remains Tarantino-esque, yet still he pushes his audience for more. Don’t be fooled by the gung ho trailers, for the most part you’ll be reading subtitles and with many long scenes where attention to detail is crucial, you’re almost in art house territory.

Divided into five chapters, each providing a segment of the back-story, which together form the big picture. A plot is formed to assassinate Hitler and his cronies whilst at a film premier, the Basterds are sent in to make sure it all goes to plan and to do what they do best.

And yet Tarantino’s trigger happy team, a group of Jewish American soldiers who specialize in collecting Nazi scalps, lead by the cigar chomping Lt Aldo Raine, appear only briefly in the films 153 minute run time.

Instead we get intense dialog driven scenes; an interrogation of a father accused of harboring a Jewish family faced with a horrible choice, a bar game turned sinister Mexican stand off, two of the films finest sequences. Perhaps ‘Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France’ the films original title may have been more fitting.

After it’s tense opening the film almost goes off track, a brief lull that is saved when the Basterds reappear. The cast is great, Pitt (who looks like he’s channeling Brando with the drawl of Jack Daniels) is entertaining, especially when forced to impersonate an Italian director. And in Christopher Waltz, the smug German ‘Jew Hunter’ who always knows more than he lets on, Tarantino creates one of his best villains. The director even found time for his trademark cameos, keep an eye and an ear out for the obvious - Mike Myers and the not so obvious Harvey Keitel.

With its westerns references, dark humour and comic book style on screen graphics, Inglorious Basterds is not what you may have expected, but in a good way. Think of Tarantino what you will, someone carrying the torch of film making or simply recycling old genres, the fact is he’s making the films he wants to make and having fun doing it. Which makes you wonder if the films final line "In fact, I think this may be my masterpiece" belongs to Aldo or Quentin.

Inglorious Basterds goes on general release August 21st.

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