The Hateful Eight
Length: 168 minutes
Main Cast: Samuel. L. Jackson
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69UwVX6Riv8 (Copy and paste the link to the URL bar)
Quentin Tarantino’s film “The Hateful Eight” has several highlights and lowlights. Never has any of his films had violent, murderous and morally irredeemable characters to the extent that he has made. This film however also has an interesting premise, good acting and great direction. Is this film better then the average film that people will go and see: Yes. Is this film as good or better then an average Quentin Tarantino film: No.
The acting in the film was pretty good and convincing and the cast has good chemistry. Jennifer Jason Leigh is nominated for best actress in her role as Daisy Domergue in this film. Tim Roth tries to fill in the massive shoes Christopher Waltz left by playing the charming and witty characters in Tarantino’s previous two films inglorious bastards and Django Unchained. While he was a good actor, he won’t be filling Watlz’s shoes for a very long time.
To anyone who does not know the main film elements of a Quentin Tarantino film, you should expect the following Criteria:
- Interesting characters and character dialogue
- A highly odd but very interesting story or situation that the characters find themselves in
- Over-the-top graphic violence
- Sadistic but hilarious situations that crop up from time to time
Only the second point is what Tarantino managed to execute perfectly. The other three elements were either excessive, absent or just did not work at all. This will be elaborated upon and explained throughout the review.
This film starts off with John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) in a stagecoach handcuffed to a Daisy Domergue whom has a ten thousand dollar bounty on her head played by Jennifer Jason Leigh as they are riding in a blizzard to a place called Red Rock. He reluctantly picks up a bounty hunter Markus Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and a Sheriff before a blizzard comes and they are forced to stay at a place called Minnie’s Haberdashery (a stagecoach lodge) until the blizzard passes which is were the rest of the film is shot. There are four more characters inside the lodge totaling the eight primary characters in this film hence why, the film is called “The Hateful Eight”. This is pretty much the setup of the film.
The reason this film is 168 minutes in duration is because the setup was so unnecessarily long and drawn out. The stagecoach scene took nearly half and hour and the introduction to the other characters in the stagecoach lodge were about 20 to 30 minutes long. The character introductions totaled to nearly one hour in duration. Even though the character dialogue was interesting and the characters are unique it was not enough to sustain interest for the hour as there was little to no plot progression at that point to justify it.
What makes The Hateful Eight worse is none of these characters have any moral ground, meaning that there is no compassion felt for any of these characters sufferings, as they are all heartless bastards. As a member of the audience I had no emotional connection nor did I feel sympathetic with any of them, which is not what any person wants to feel during a movie.
The premise explained in the trailer is the definitely best part of the film. The premise is one man in Minnie’s Haberdashery is not who they say they are and wants to free Daisy Domergue and will kill anyone that prevents the culprit from freeing her. Think of this as the board me Cluedo but with blood and violence. There are a couple of interesting and unexpected twists and turns throughout as the film transforms into a whodunit western mystery. This was a 50-minute edge-of-your-seat moment as the characters deduct and narrow down suspects until they got the true story of events. This was by far the most entertaining part of the film with a very interesting premise and story development that is in Tarantino’s other movies such as Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained. This is such great entertainment, which is what keeps the film afloat.
However the violence in this film is brutal and cold but it is not in the Tarantino style of fashion as it was not entertaining or shocking in any way. A viewer will essentially know when something violent is going to happen in the film and expects it in “The Hateful Eight”. In Tarantino’s other films the violence would be shocking because it was unexpected or because the violence in the scene was so brutal it would make anyone uncomfortable viewing it. That is violence as art as it keeps you on the edge of your seat and prevents boredom as you won’t believe what you witnessed. Or Tarantino makes a sadistic joke or act that is pretty funny and makes the violence lighthearted. None of this happened. In The Hateful Eight, it is pretty much expected when someone is going to get punched or get shot that when the violence happens, it is just sad or pathetic.
To recap: The storytelling, filmmaking and acting is a master class from This film. However the long character setup, the sadistic heartless characters with no redeeming qualities and the senseless violence damaged the quality of the film. My final verdict for the hateful eight: ***1/4