THE HATEFUL EIGHT
***** (out of 5)
December 30, 2015
Samuel L. Jackson as MAJOR MARQUIS WARREN
Kurt Russell as JOHN RUTH
Jennifer Jason Leigh as DAISY DOMERGUE
Walton Goggins as SHERIFF CHRIS MANNIX
Demian Bichir as BOB
Tim Roth as OSWALDO MOBRAY
Michael Madsen as JOE GAGE
Bruce Dern as GENERAL SANDY SMITHERS
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
BY KEVIN CARR
After a long period or writing the script, getting that script leaked online, throwing a temper tantrum about said online link with a vow to never make the movie, having a widely-reported read-through of the same script, and finally an extended production schedule, Quentin Tarantino is finally unleashing “The Hateful Eight” on the world (following a celebrated limited run exclusively shown in 70mm).
The story follows a bounty hunter (Kurt Russell), who is taking the outlaw Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to Red Rock to be hanged and collect $10,000. Along the way, they are snowed in at a remote haberdashery. Soon, it becomes clear that one or more of the seven other people snowbound together are planning on helping Daisy escape.
Much like Tarantino’s breakthrough hit “Reservoir Dogs,” “The Hateful Eight” is essentially a one-room story featuring a strong slate of actors in a tense criminal situation. It’s far more sophisticated than “Reservoir Dogs” and represents the culmination of the director’s past 23 years of filmmaking.
Because he had the clout in Hollywood, after coming off hits like “Inglourious Basterds” and “Django Unchained,” Tarantino was given a full leash to do whatever he wanted with this movie, from shooting on 70mm to delivering a three-hour final cut. And this is what makes the movie his best film since “Pulp Fiction.”
Tarantino was able to do exactly what he needed to for this film, assembling a brilliant cast of both well-known actors (like Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell) to including character actors who give surprisingly brilliant performances (like Walton Goggins as the morally-questionable sheriff stuck in the haberdashery).
Unlike previous Tarantino films which featured extended speeches made for a single actor to grandstand (like Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds” and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Django Unchained”), the back-and-forth dialogue in “The Hateful Eight” is masterful and generous. It’s not just there for Tarantino to hear his words read back to him.
The suspense in the film, the pacing of the action and dialogue, and the dark nature of the film’s story all come together to form a compelling piece of fiction about the American West that serves as both a homage to a genre and a wholly unique movie unto itself.