Movie Review: The Hateful Eight

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Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Vuvu Rating: 7/10


The Hateful Eight is director Quentin Tarantino’s eighth feature film and continues in the same vein as his previous Western Django Unchained.

The film is set in a wintery Wyoming after the Civil War, when a stagecoach heading for Red Rock gets caught in a blizzard. Aboard the stagecoach is bounty hunter John “the Hangman” Ruth, played by Kurt Russell, and his prisoner Daisy Domergue, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is bound for the hangman. Along their journey to the shelter of Minnie’s Haberdashery they pick up Major Marquis Warren, a former Union cavalry officer, who is played by Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Mannix, played by Walton Goggins, who claims to be the new sheriff of Red Rock.

This ignites the tension between the intriguing characters that the film is built on. Once they arrive at their pit stop and sanctuary from the storm they come across four other strangers that will be snowed in along with their paranoia, guns and secrets in a small cabin. But not everyone is who they seem to be.

The deceptive opening scene shows the picturesque snowy landscapes of the mountainous West before entering a single room packed with eccentric and suspicious characters, where it remains for the duration of the film. This setting is more reminiscent of a stage play rather than a film helping to heighten the sense of confinement among the characters.

The plot is a culmination of an Agatha Christie mystery novel and a rugged Western generated by a barrage of bullets and cascade of blood which is what we come to expect from any Tarantino film. The narrative of the Hateful Eight isn’t as rounded as his previous films, the storyline is weaker and doesn’t have a lot of death. They’re stuck in a room, they fight, they kill each other. But is nevertheless filled with twists and revelations that make for an interesting watch.

Dialogue is the main driving force behind this slow paced film that is best described by the films own words, “molasses like”.  However the dialogue is excellent and allows the actors to each have their own moments of brilliance. This wordy film is however punctuated with not only over the top violence but also humour. The clever one liners will remain with you long after the lights come on and the popcorn is finished.

The characters of the film aren’t self-restrained or politically correct which is common in the way Tarantino’s reimagined historical and political issues that are particularly seen in Django Unchained and Inglorious Bastards. However each character is intriguing with excellent performances from Oscar nominated, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jackson.

The Hateful Eight is an enjoyable film that any Tarantino fan would relish, but if you’re not a fan of lengthy rambling films broken by excessive violence then this will be a hateful experience.