Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

The Hateful Eight is Quentin Tarantino's eight film in what has been an incredible career. With hits such as the Kill Bills and Inglorious Bastards in his past as well as heavily Oscar nominated movies like Pulp Fiction and Django, it was safe to say that The Hateful Eight had a lot of weight on it's shoulders to deliver. The film has also faced a lot of controversy and was almost not made at all due to being leaked many years ago which also adds pressure for the film to succeed.  So would it be able to live up to the standard raised by Tarantino's previous movies?

The Hateful Eight is an American murder mystery western which has a star studded cast with the likes of Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell and Tim Roth featuring in this movie. A very interesting plot where Major Marquis Warren (Jackson) catches a ride with John Ruth (Russell) whom is on his way to Red Rock to collect a bounty for Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Due to a heavy blizzard, Warren, Ruth, Domergue and stagecoach driver OB and the new Sheriff of Red Rock have to take shelter at Minnie's Habadashery. Little do they know what awaits them at the shelter as someone is in cahoots with Domergue and will do anything to try and free her.

The ensemble cast in The Haetful Eight

I think that a good way to look at this movie is to look at it in two parts. This was the way that I actually seen it in the cinema due to the length of it. For a film over 3 hours long, the cinema put a sensible intermission about half way through the film. The break came at a very good time as well and made a good halfway point where you could see things starting to change.

Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh

The first half of the film was most certainly the slower of the two. The first half heavily featured many scenes with great dialogue, with no action really happening. The building up of the characters was expertly done through the first half. This was mainly due to the great dialogue that we have come to expect in a Tarantino film. In a film this long, if the dialogue and the building of the characters isn't good, the film would fall flat on it's face. Thankfully this was not the case as Tarantino once again showed his talents as not only a director but as a writer as well. I can see how some people could perhaps be bored at some points which was evident to me as one the people I was with became a bit restless through the first half at times. The end of the half though starts to change with lets say quite a disturbing image as it starts to become the more wild side of Tarantino's films. You can see the movie start to move onto the crazy and beloved side as the first half came to a close and the intermission began.

The second half I feel was much more enjoyable. This is where a lot of the action happened and the story really moved on quicker. The well known traits of Tarantino are shown here such as the bloody violence and also the quick quips. The second half was definitely the more entertaining of the two. Also the structure of the film which is often shifted around in Tarantino films is once again shown, showing his talent for directing. It was a lot more fun in this half and was full of laughs and shocking moments. Also I wasn't able to figure out who was the culprit so I felt the movie did a great job at making the climax not obvious at all.

Samuel L Jackson in his sixth Tarantino film
The Hateful Eight is filled with lots of dark comedy. There is an abundance of laughs throughout the whole film which really adds to the film. I feel that the delivery by many of the characters such as Jacksons and also by Walton Goggins- who I will come back to later- made this film really funny as every joke seemed to land perfectly. Even with a lot of the more serious situations, the comedy as ever present but is done very well and correctly. The score of this movie is also excellent through the film. I also feel that from the opening scene did a great job of conveying the feeling of a western with the long opening with the credits. It really took me back to watching westerns as a kid with my dad.

The movie is full of great performances. Samuel L Jackson is great once again in a Tarantino film which seems to be a certainty now. He is once again a very entertaining bad ass that we all love to see. A lot of the comedy is successful due to Jacksons delivery as mentioned before. I also feel that Jennifer Jason Leigh was excellent playing a psychotic and deranged character. Although kept fairly quiet at the start, once the film progresses, the character seems to become more and more crazy. Also just by looking at her in this film, you can tell that she has a few screws loose. My favourite character from the film was Sheriff Chris Mannix played by Walton Goggins. I thought that this character was so great and unbelievably funny. So much of the comedy came from Goggins who I felt had the best performance of the movie and stood out from the rest. Most of the performances were very strong with Russell and Roth also producing great performances in their roles.
Walton Goggins was excellent as The Sheriff 

Although the film was pretty great, it did have some problems. For instance during the first half I did feel it being a little slow but that is maybe to do with the expectations of the carnage in a Tarantino film. Also on a few occasions a use of slow motion was used whilst people were talking and whilst action was going on. I felt that this didn't add anything to the film and was really unnecessary. If it was meant for comedy effect, I didn't even feel it worked that way either. At times I also found the character Bob, "The Mexican" was hard to understand at times due to his thick accent but thats really the only complaints I have.

Final Verdict: The Hateful Eight = A-
In many ways this film definitely lived up to he hype and expectations set for it. A strong showing from Tarantino in his eighth film. Most definitely worth checking out. Don't let the running time put you off seeing this film as it is truly excellent. You did it again Tarantino. Here's hoping it's not too long until his next one.

So if you have seen The Hateful Eight what did you think of it? Does it rank high on your list of favourite Tarantino films? I hope you enjoyed it if you have seen it and hope that this review may of convinced you to go and see The Hateful Eight. Once again thank you for reading.

By Angus McGregor

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