Quentin Tarantino has accrued a huge following over the years with movies like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction becoming idolized by rebellious teenagers and students worldwide, as well as those critics who enjoy excellent dialogue and all-star casts. It’s been two years since his last movie(s), 2007’s Grindhouse/Death Proof double whammy that disappointed at the box office and left many Tarantino fans a little deflated.
So QT comes back this year with a fresh idea, a fresh cast and a whole lotta hype. Inglorious Basterds, set to be released August 21st, centres its plot not around Tarantino’s usual characters who are either professional criminals (Jules & Vince from Pulp Fiction, the entire cast of Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown) or out seeking revenge (The Bride from Kill Bill, Ving Rhames’ Marcellus in PF).
Instead, it’s a world war two movie about a group of Jewish soldiers – the titular Basterds – who are looking to strike fear into the Nazi army by scalping their soldiers and generally being the meanest sons o’bitches in mainland Europe. The leader of the Basterds, Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) tells them in the movie’s trailer “We will be cruel to the Germans. And through our cruelty they will know who we are”.
It’s a totally different style to the usual Tarantino fare. For one, the only super-famous actor is Pitt himself (although the recognisable face of Hostel director Eli Roth can be seen amongst the Basterds) and the plot isn’t about trying to rob a bank or transport a suitcase, but the horrors of war and the immoral actions that both the Allies and Nazis committed.
This bucking of the normal QT trend may alienate some of his more devout followers still waiting for Pulp Fiction 2, but I’m looking forward to seeing how one of the best directors of recent times handles a totally new concept. With Kill Bill it was the samurai film, and with Inglorious Basterds, it’s the war movie. August 21, we get to find out how he fares.