The Hateful Eight

"Good"

The Hateful Eight Review


Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who simply can't be ignored, especially when he lobs a three-hour wide-screen epic whodunit Western into the cinema. This strikingly entertaining film is packed with his trademark plot twists and dialogue that snaps and crackles in every direction imaginable. So even though it's mainly set in a single room, it's never boring. But with no discernible point, it also leaves the audience rather cold.

In the snowy Rockies of southern Wyoming, cavalry officer turned bounty hunter Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) hitches a ride on a stagecoach with shifty gunslinger John (Kurt Russell), who is escorting feisty outlaw Daisy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to collect the reward on her head and see her hanged. They also pick up lost new sheriff Chris (Walton Goggins) before an intense blizzard forces them to take shelter at a mountain lodge run by the suspicious Bob (Demian Bichir). Inside, hangman Oswaldo (Tim Roth), war veteran Sandy (Bruce Dern) and their mysterious friend Joe (Michael Madsen) are also waiting out the storm. And as these eight people circle around each other, it's clear that each of them wants the others dead.

No, there's not a single trustworthy person in this story, and Tarantino has a great time revealing the inner murkiness within each one. This gives the actors plenty of texture to work with, as they deliver their lines with knowing innuendo, razor-sharp wit and glowering loathing. The set-up feels somewhat belaboured, but the film's second half is a cracking Agatha Christie-style mystery as we wait for the first shot to be fired. With its single setting, it feels like a particularly nasty stage play, livened up by Tarantino's wordy writing, which drops in big issues like racism and sexism without ever quite grappling with them. And there's of course also a steady stream of vicious violence, including an extended flashback featuring Channing Tatum.

In the ensemble cast, the clear standout is Leigh, and not just because she's the only woman. Her performance is the most unpredictable thing on the screen; it's impossible to guess what she'll do or say next. The men, meanwhile, create riotous characters of their own, anchored by Jackson's weary smirk and Roth's deliberately shifting English accent. All of this looks amazing, and is beefed up by a terrific score by maestro Ennio Morricone. But while it holds the attention and occasionally offers big laughs and jolting thrills, there's nothing about this movie that connects properly with the audience. And in the end it's all rather frivolous: three hours of grisly fun that will be difficult to remember the morning after.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for The Hateful Eight here:



The Hateful Eight

Facts and Figures

Genre: Western

Run time: 168 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st January 2016

Box Office USA: $4.5M

Budget: $4.4M

Distributed by: The Weinsten Company

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, The Weinstein Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Fresh: 90 Rotten: 29

IMDB: 8.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Richard N. Gladstein, Shannon McIntosh

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson as Major Marquis Warren, as John 'The Hangman' Ruth, as Sheriff Chris Mannix, as Daisy Domergue, as Oswaldo Mobray, as Joe Gage, as General Sandy Smithers, as Bob, as Six-Horse Judy, Dana Gourrier as Minnie, James Parks as O.B Jackson, Craig Stark as Chester Charles Smithers, Belinda Owino as Gemma, Bruce Del Castillo as Homer Van Hootin, Keith Jefferson as Charly, as Jody

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