The expectations on Tarantino are always high. His movies have always certain symbols of identity very powerful and present in all of his masterpieces from Reservoir Dogs to Inglorious Basterds (and that many others have followed, as Robert Rodríguez).
The thing about Django is that it’s probably the less tarantinian movie of all his cinematography. However, it’s easy to find many of those identity symbols of his style.
For instance, in Tarantino’s movies blood and violence are absolutely mandatory. And Django has it –plenty, actually- Irrational and exaggerated, as always. Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill more violent sequences should be green on envy.
Catchy and witty lines in the dialogues -bordering on the absurd- are also expected. Django have them. The shaking-hands argument between Calvin Candie and Dr. King Shultz demonstrates it, as well as the several sequences with Dr. Schultz playing the bounty hunter (ironical wink on classic Westerns). Though the dialogue during the funny Ku Kux Klan scene will make everyone burst in laughter.
Characters to remember as well as great acting are also a must. In Django, it’s Waltz who shines with his hilarious lines and the empathy we feel for him (especially, taking into account the hideous colonel Hans Landa he played in Inglorious Basterds). Also, DiCaprio takes a turn in his career to be the villain and, surprisingly, he does it quiet well.
The problem is the story: too lineal, too easy, too predictable… what ends up being too boring (as well as too long). The end is expected, though spectacular. And that’s not Tarantino.
Probably, Django is the main problem here. Foxx overacts Django in many sequences. He looks pretentious (wait for the blue custom) and it’s difficult to classify him as the classical Tarantino hero looking for revenge, much more authentic (Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, for instance).
In some sequences, Tarantino’s voice is lost in behalf of Django’s. After all, the entire Western and slavery background is a vague excuse for the hackneyed story of the damsel in distress (Broomhilda) that Django and Schultz want to save from Candy. Actually, the whole movie is an excuse for that.