German Critics Maybe Going a Little Overboard With Praise for Inglourious Basterds

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Photo: Courtesy of the Weinstein Company

At this point, it's probably not spoiling anything to say that the fantasized ending of World War II envisioned by Quentin Tarantino's Jewish-revenge actioner Inglourious Basterds deviates slightly from the historical record — let's just say that major combat operations cease a little early and the outcome is still decidedly not in Germany's favor. A few have worried about how the film will be received in that country, where they're still a little sensitive about that particular part of their history. On Monday night, Tarantino assured us that Inglourious Basterds is "going to do fantastic in Germany," and that "with the possible exception of Jews, the people that have the biggest bringing-down-the–Third Reich fantasies are the last two generations of the Germans." We guess he was right.

American reviews for Basterds, probably not influenced by any guilt complex, have been pretty favorable so far — its current Rotten Tomatoes score is an impressive 82 percent. But if the site incorporated the German reviews, it'd probably break the Tomatometer. The AP shares these blurbs today:


"Inglourious Basterds is brazen, a declaration of war, a pleasure," the normally staid Frankfurter Allgemeine daily said. "Tarantino shows the Nazis as they really were: a pack of pompous trash — thoroughly trivial bad guys."


"Tarantino manages to create great cinema with his cheeky historical concoction — despite using actual historical figures from Hitler to De Gaulle, he made nearly everything up," the Financial Times Deutschland wrote. "Because, unlike Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill, only the evil are massacred, the audience cheers the violent scenes with gusto," it said in a review headlined "Kill Hitler".

This one guy is really excited:


"This isn't camp, it isn't pulp — you miss the point using such categories with Tarantino — but rather a vision never before seen in the nearly exhausted world of cinematic images," the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel wrote. "It took 65 years for a film-maker, instead of bringing Germany's evil 20th century history to life once more to have people shudder and bow before it, to simply dream around it. And to mow all the pigs down. Catharsis! Oxygen! Wonderful retro-futuristic insanity of the imagination!"

Also, Munich's Sueddeutsche Zeitung says it's even better than Valkyrie, if you can believe it.

German critics lap up Tarantino's Jewish revenge fantasy [AP]