THE HATEFUL EIGHT (review)
THE HATEFUL EIGHT
Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino / Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh
Oswaldo Mobray: Well, well, well! Looks like Minnie’s Haberdashery’s about to get cozy for the next few days.
Three years since DJANGO UNCHAINED, every movie going teenage boy’s favourite director Quentin Tarantino is back with THE HATEFUL EIGHT. Tarantino insists that you see his latest in the three-hour-plus 70mm roadshow version, a delightful yet audacious request, one that Tarantino wholeheartedly earns the right to make.
The western follows a group of seven men and one woman who find shelter in a saloon during a blizzard. It is soon revealed that the eight have more in common with one another than they initially thought. With betrayals and alliances forming quickly, a deadly finale is soon in sight.
With an overture and intermission, THE HATEFUL EIGHT is quite the journey, yet it proves to be much easier to sit through than one would think. The first half of the film, or what comes before the intermission, is pretty brilliant. Tarantino’s snappy dialogue is as good as always, and with an incredible cast, it bounces back and forth at satisfying and rapid pace. Ending with the great cliffhanger, everything seems to be ready to come back full force when Act I leads into the intermission, but as the second act gets moving, things begin to fall apart. This is where Tarantino decides to insert all the action, and it proves to be less exciting than his dialogue. By the time the film reaches its final stretch, everything starts to get a bit tedious, but the film ends before the tedium begins to feel overbearing.
The film’s cast deserves as much acclaim as Tarantino. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kurt Russell in particular, give excellent performances as killer Daisy Domergue and bounty hunter John “Hangman” Ruth, though the latter does hit the former a few too many times. Tarantino favourite Samuel L. Jackson leads the film as bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren and as can be expected, his line delivery is on fire. Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Demian Bichir, and Michael Madson – all impressive – round out the eight.
Tarantino is known for having great soundtracks, and THE HATEFUL EIGHT does not disappoint in this regard. Italian scoring legend Ennio Morricone composes his first western score in forty years for Tarantino, one that is sure to send shivers up viewers’ backs as the overture begins. The overture and intermission are only included in the 70mm version of the film, another reason why the roadshow version is the way to go for the film. The image looks great here, and definitely contributes to the feel Tarantino is going for with the film. Though with so many theatres projecting the 70mm version, and so few people trained to properly run film projectors, issues are bound to arise.
While the end of the film is a bit of a drag, Tarantino’s THE HATEFUL EIGHT definitely delivers. Anyone with even the slightest fondness for westerns will be delighted and Tarantino fans will wear a smile from the very beginning. It may not be his best film, but THE HATEFUL EIGHT is hardly hateful.
How many sheep would you give The Hateful Eight?