The Hateful Eight Review
Director: Quentin Tarantino.
Well I'll be double dog damned
Is it really the eighth film from Quentin Tarantino? I'm pretty sure he's done more than that or is saying the eighth film he's written and directed? Anyhow, I ain't gonna argue with the legendary QT.
What I love so much about Tarantino's films is his style, his respect to the cinema a lot of us grew up with. I can imagine, quite like myself, Tarantino watching movies as a child, lost in wonderment with aspirations of making these very same films, but not to do them better, he loves these classic, iconic films that lay foundation of his inspiration. No, he's just a guy that loves the movies and set out to make good films just like them.
So, his eighth film is the aptly named The Hateful Eight which is an amazing, encapsulating murder mystery reminding me very much of films like Clue and especially The Last Supper where the story's characters ultimately have a battle of wits until the bloody end.
Set a few years after the American civil war, an unforgiving blizzard forces the assembly of eight drifters each with their own agenda and notorious history. The halfway shack that shelters them isn't big enough for their egos and their suspicions just squeezing in deceptions until the eventual burst.
The cast is of the usual Tarantino family with a few new, but recognisable faces. Russell plays a bounty hunter known for keeping his bounties alive long enough to see them hang. He's hellbent on getting most-wanted but not so known outlaw, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to the gallows in Red Rock, Wyoming.
Samuel L. Jackson plays an ex-union Major-turned-bounty-hunter, Tim Roth a polite British hangman, Michael Madsen a quiet yet looming cowboy and Walton Goggins, who steals the show entirely, plays the unsuitable, supposedly newly elected sheriff of Red Rock. Goggins is the modern day Bill Paxton to me, never really get the lead roles but does an amazing job, this being his moment in my opinion.
Bruce Dern returns plays a confederate General who strikes up an instant rapport with Jackson's Warren. A couple of newbies to Tarantino's world, Demián Bichir as the Mexican and Jennifer Jason Leigh who fits perfectly among the rest of the rabble.
It's interesting and almost comical how everyone has mostly heard of one another, making the Wild West feel like an expansive small town with larger than character reputations. It's something Tarantino does so brilliantly, creating distinctive characters.
As expected, the script is sharpshootingly good, full of insulting, derogatory slurs and loaded with expletives. There's more showdowns of tongues than shootouts, but what comes should surely quench anyone's blood thirst.
I can't imagine how excited Tarantino must have been to have the maestro Ennio Morricone actually compose the score to this film as oppose to having his famous tracks used in many of Tarantino's precious films. He first western in 40yrs, It one-ups The Revenant in this respect though not taking anything away from Alvo Noto and the also legendary Ryuichi Sakamoto.
The bloody special effects are gruesome with thanks to Greg Nicotero of The Walking Dead. The set location and especially the costumes are flamboyant yet suitable for the film. To be dressed as a Tarantino character must be both fun and amazing.
Tarantino's style is glorious as always, gladly still shooting with the ultra Panavision, anamorphic 70mm film which still, in my opinion, so stunning compared to digital. But the lighting, the close-ups and the entirely film is perfectly shot and seamlessly put together.
I can see this very much as a play on Broadway or at the West End. It's theatrical brilliance. But, is it Tarantino's best work? Still not as good as Pulp Fiction, but it doesn't try to be.
Running Time: 8
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 10
The Extra Bonus Point: 0
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Have it already.