5/25/2010, reviewed by Amanda Evans
Set during WWII, this movie is about a group of Jewish Americans led by a backwoods Tennessee radical who parachute deep into German territory with the mission to kill every Nazi they meet. It also tells the story of Shoshanna, a young French Jew who narrowly escapes being massacred along with her family by a shrewd German known as the Jew Hunter. Shoshanna changes her name, settles in a new city, and eventually inherits a theater. Tension rises when the Germans decide to use her theater for the premier of a major political film. All of the top German officials will attend including Hitler. And who is chief of security but the very man who killed her family? Shoshanna sees this as the perfect opportunity for revenge. So does the American government who work with a German actress turned agent, a British spy, and the group of Nazi killers to enact a plan to blow up the theater and end the war.
Plans are laid, risks taken, unexpected obstacles come up and are overcome. The thing that bothers me is that they end up succeeding. Talk about taking historical license! The movie makers basically borrowed the preexisting and firmly rooted villainy of Hitler and the Nazis so they didn't have to create a villain on their own or spend the time making us hate him. To me it seemed like a creative cop out. And then, to not even closely stick to history I thought was just plain rude. There was no respect for what went on during WWII and the whole thing was cheapened and made light of, despite the copious and realistic gore and language.
The acting was excellent, however. Brad Pitt may be the big name on this ticket, but the German actor who played the "Jew Hunter" gave an incredible performance. He was perfectly polite and genteel—a suave villain. He had a likable, almost comic personality while still firmly keeping his place in our hearts as the bad guy.
The plot (though historically inaccurate) was complex enough to be engaging and entertaining, but there was very little character development. There were no emotional surprises and everyone who was left alive was pretty much the same as they were at the beginning of the movie.
This film is rated R and definitely deserves it. It's not for children or people with sensitive stomaches.
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