Right off the bat Inglorious Basterds establishes itself as very much not the action-packed film that was advertised. It opens with a title card, and a lengthy, tense, dialogue-driven conversation between a French man and a Nazi. Indeed, regardless of what you may have been told, this is a Tarantino movie.
That Nazi is Hans Landa “The Jew Hunter,” played by Christoph Waltz, the standout of the movie. He is a fantastic villain, cultured, smart and disturbingly dangerous. Fortunately, Tarantino gives us a cast of heroes worthy to stand up to this menace. There are the Basterds, an American group of Nazi killers led by Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), as well as a number of British, French and Germans all fighting to kill Hitler.
Most surprisingly, the Basterds are not the biggest presence in the film, but rather just one of many groups we follow. They serve almost as comic relief, making jokes and doing absolutely brutal acts of violence to Nazis, while the rest of the film is spent talking. But this is Tarantino dialogue, and there’s always a lot more going on than what is being said. Scene after scene starts small and begins building tension until that is broken by shooting.
This movie is a work of art, it is Quentin Tarantino’s Jewish revenge against Hitler movie. No, it is not always going to follow real history. If you can let that go, or if that premise sounds exciting to you, I’m sure that you will get more than your money’s worth from this epic.