Title – The Hateful Eight (2015)
Director – Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
Cast – Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir, Channing Tatum
Plot – In the heart of a fierce blizzard deep in the wilds of post-Civil War America , a collection of bounty hunters, hangmen and assorted other “professionals” take shelter from the storm in Minnie’s Haberdashery. The uneasy close confines are made even worse by the fact that in the midst of the gathering is John “the Hangman” Ruth (Russell) and his captured alive bounty Daisy Domergue (Leigh) who may just have an accomplice in the group who is planning to break her free, no matter the cost.
“Bringing desperate men in alive, is a good way to get yourself dead”
Review by Eddie on 22/01/2016
Disclaimer – this review was based on the shorter non-70mm version of the film
In the space of a few weeks Australian movie lovers and even more so fans of Westerns have had the rare opportunity to be spoilt for choice for their Wild West needs. All offering something different, we’ve had the visually striking The Revenant, the direct to disc cult classic in waiting Bone Tomahawk (a release we look forward to profiling on the blog soon) and perhaps for many the most anticipated 70mm filmed production in some time, The Hateful Eight, the 8th film from the master himself Quentin Tarantino.
Another lovingly crafted homage by QT, this time to the widescreen glories of the Western heydays, The Hateful Eight sees the wordsmithing wizard create a film that seems destined to one day turn its way into a stage production as more so than ever before this is a near 3 hour long film that rides almost exclusively off the back of Tarantino’s way with words and where films like Reservoir Dogs did the same in many respects it wasn’t quite to the scale or length of Eight’s tension riddled opening chapters that aren’t afraid to cause a major case of numb-bum for cinema goers but draw you in thanks to the mystery and intrigue (and a dark sense of fun) as to where things may end up.
Divided into 6 chapters of varying length and intensity, Eight’s beginning 4 segments are classic stuff. Filled with intrigue, backstory and of course hilarious dialogue and situations that we should feel bad for enjoying, you’ll be totally hooked into the mystery that QT has crafted and it’s a whole load of fun trying to figure out who’s playing who and who wants what in the cosy surrounds of Minnie’s Haberdashery. It’s then somewhat of a shame that QT’s closing chapters feel like something akin to a letdown and no amount of comical blood spray or desperate acts of survival can cover up the fact the film starts to feel not only slightly to longwinded but a little bit of a fizzle out considering the fantastically constructed slow build that preceded it.
Front and centre of this slow build is a typically strong cast of QT regulars and newbies and each character actor has their moment to shine, with the films best dialogue stolen by the perhaps never better Samuel L. Jackson as Major Marquis Warren (who takes many of the films greatest lines), Tim Roth as the smooth talking local hangman Oswaldo Mobray and Walton Goggins as the soon to be local town sheriff Chris Mannix and with these men leading the charge it’s quite clear that the whole cast was having a blast chewing on the dialogue heavy scenarios created for them. It’s also great to see Kurt Russell (sporting what could be the year’s best movie beard, sorry Leo) back on fine form and Jennifer Jason Leigh is well deserving of her recent Oscar nomination for her turn as the conniving Daisy.
It would be great for Tarantino to one day give himself tighter editing restrictions and The Hateful Eight like many of his more recent films could’ve easily trimmed 15 – 20 minutes of screen time and lost none of its impact but overall we cinema goers should be appreciative of his continuing effort to make and produce unique movies that are lovingly crafted reminders as to why cinema is such a fabulous medium to enjoy.
Far from Tarantino’s best work, The Hateful Eight is still mightily entertaining stuff that’s meticulously shot, scored and scripted and a film that for 3 quarters of its run time threatens to be a new classic of the Western genre only to finish in a slightly disappointing manner. Still, for fans of unique cinema events and supporters of the man that has now given us 8 highly memorable films, The Hateful Eight will be one of the year’s most darkly enjoyable (and blood splattered) movie events.
4 inconvenient doors out of 5