TMR Book Review: Screenplay – Inglourious Basterds

basterds1There are certain things that we have come to expect in a Quentin Tarantino screenplay: Great dialogue, non-stop action, and violence immediately come to mind, and his newest fare, Inglourious Basterds, doesn’t disappoint in any of those areas.

This is a story about LT Aldo Raines, a hillbilly from the mountains of Tennessee, and his group of merry men knows as the “Inglourious Basterds”. They are a rag-tag group of Jewish-American soldiers, thrown together whose main goal is to go through German occupied Europe during WWII, killing as many Nazis as they can, collecting scalps along the way.

It is also the story of Shosanna Dreyfus, a young Jewish woman who had the tragic misfortune of watching her entire family executed by Nazi Colonel Hans Landa, aka, The Jew Hunter. Shosanna escapes and finds her way to a movie house in Paris, which she eventually comes to own.

At some point, Shosanna meets up with the Basterds as they both come to very different but exciting ways of executing plots of murder and treachery against the entire upper tier of the Third Reich.

The plot is fast paced and the dialogue is snappy and, at times, witty. In other words, typical Tarantino.

One of the problems with the screenplay is that we have no idea how or why the Basterds came to be, just that they are, and we’re supposed to take that on faith. At least we know how Shosanna came to Paris, and why, and we get to see through flashbacks certain things about Landa as well.

But it would have been nice to have some of the Basterds’ back stories fleshed out a little, especially Raines. With the exception of Sgt Donowitz, aka the Bear Jew, who we get a very protracted look at how he obtains the bat that he will use to bash in many Nazi heads, we get nothing on anyone else.

If the screenplay is any indicator, and it usually is, the movie, which hits theaters August 21st, will be action-packed and exciting, with a little twisted humor thrown in.