QUENTIN TARANTINO’S EIGHT FILM IN HIS HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE FILMOGRAPHY BRINGS THE DIRECTOR TO FAMILIAR GROUND, AND BACK TO HIS ROOTS THOUGH NOT A GOOD AS HE FIRST THREE FILMS, THIS SLOW-BURN CAGED THRILLER IS CERTAINLY MORE ENJOYABLE THAN HE PREVIOUS EFFORTS BEHIND THE CAMERA.
There is much more to criticize Hateful Eight for than it’s excessive use of the word Nigga, but there is also much to praise about this film too, and yet even when the praises of this film outshine the negatives, Quentin Tarantino has often been one of those directors that I find myself more and more indifferent about with each new film of his I see., sadly this film is no exception.
Like all of his film, Hateful Eight has been a passion project. Starting from the idea he conceived of doing a Django Unchained spinoff that grew into a fully formed original idea. The Hateful Eight stars Samuel L. Jackson. Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Zoe Bell.
The film’s plot is as follows: While racing toward the town of Red Rock in post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) encounter another bounty hunter (Samuel L. Jackson) and a man who claims to be a sheriff (Walton Goggins). Hoping to find shelter from a blizzard, the group travels to a stagecoach stopover located on a mountain pass. Greeted there by four strangers, the eight travelers soon learn that they may not make it to their destination after all.
Hateful Eight is a strange film in that it never really feels quite like a Quentin Tarantino film until about the last act where most of his trademarks come into full effect. Before then, the film is a very slow and almost methodically paced with somewhat sharp dialogue, and only four of the eight characters can been marked as somewhat interesting and those are Major Marcus Warren (Sam Jackson), John Ruth “The Hangman” (Kurt Russell), his prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and The Sheriff (Walton Goggins), the biggest standout character is of course Samuel L Jackson.
By far the smartest character in the film, Jackson’s Major Marcus Warren is above all else the most interesting character the film has to offer, and Jackson’s performance is equally as stellar. Commanding the screen with his furious charisma as he spouts the quirky dialogue written for him, Jackson is mesmerizing and it’s impossible to take your eyes off him.
Giving by far the most to do, your are with him as he slowly starts to unfold the bizarre occurrences that are taking place within this haberdashery and its a joy to watch unfold.
As well as the stellar performances, per usually there is gorgeous cinematography and beautiful use made from the sets and costumes that the main characters wear and while I enjoyed the second act much more so than the first, my problem with Hateful Eight ultimately comes from the fact that while everything was happening, I felt no real tension.
I was never sweating profusely about what was going to occur next, nor really did I find myself caring. I only really found myself invested in Jackson’s character for the simple fact that he was the most interesting, besides him and the ones mentioned before. The other half of “Hateful Eight” are relatively forgettable and I wonder whether the movie could have worked better without them.
The lead up to when the big shoe drops is so boring and uninteresting that I started loosing focus on everything, but once the shit hits the fan and the big reveal happens, that’s when the movie kicks into high gear and becomes a joyish bloody good time.
Bullets fly, heads explode and bodies fall there is even a cool cameo that is a really sweet treat.