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Spoilers abound ahead - hard to write a critical review without disclosing the action and the ending...
"Inglorious Basterds" is a story of a guerrilla operation, run by Brad Pitt and a motley collection of Jewish fighters in World War 2. They wreak havoc upon the Nazis, showing no mercy, and, in a typically Tarantino fashion, graphically in some cases, including the brutal baseball bat beating (too many b's?) of a Nazi officer who refuses to divulge the location of another patrol. It also follows the story of a Jewish girl who escaped a brutal murdering of her family at a French farm house. She escapes to Paris and runs a movie theater(!). There she accidentally befriends a Nazi officer who is sort of a German Audie Murphy, who supposedly single-handedly cuts down over 100 Allied soldiers from a church steeple. He then stars in a movie based upon his exploits and the Nazi high command wants to debut the movie in her movie theater. All the German high brass, from Hitler on down, attend, drawing the attention of the Allied high command, who promptly begin plotting an attack on the theater. Can they pull it off and end World War 2 in one blow?
Cover of The Shot
Another problem with "Basterds" is that really, not much happens, at least for the first 90 minutes or more of a 250 minute film. There is no real story building, just a few episodes that paint in the background of the two major stores, but in such broad strokes to make it kind of boring and uninteresting, despite the graphic violence.
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Brad Pitt is just fine as the scene chewing leader of the Basterds. Mélanie Laurent was enchanting as the bitter Jewish survivor who plots the destruction of the German high command. Her ending was just so over the top Tarantino-esque as to be amazing.
But all in all, a 2.5 or maybe 3 out of 5 star movie. I just wasn't invested in the characters or the story, and I still don't understand the ending.