The Hateful Eight review

Director:

  • Quentin Tarantino

Cast:

  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Kurt Russell
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh
  • Walton Goggins
  • Demian Bichir
  • Tim Roth
  • Michael Madsen
  • Bruce Dern
  • James Parks
  • Rated: R

In “The Hateful Eight,” Samuel L. Jackson plays Major Marquis Warren, a former member of the U.S. Cavalry and now full time Bounty Hunter in the state of Wyoming. The movie begins with Warren needing a ride after the death of his horse and that need puts him in contact with another stage coach.

This stage coach has John Ruth (Russell) riding in it. A fellow bounty hunter who is taking a prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Leigh), in to hang for an alive reward. Ruth agrees to allow Warren come along. After picking up another stranded person, a sheriff played by Walton Goggins, the group makes it to a haberdashery where they come in contact with another group of people. The situation starts to become suspicious, though, when a murder occurs.

The first two hours of Director Quentin Tarantino work really well. The movie begins with a suspenseful meeting of strangers who obviously don’t trust each other and through a slow burning story evolves into a locked room “who-done-it” mystery. As the plot thickens throughout the movie, the dialogue delivered back and forth between characters is continuously intense and it makes for a really interesting picture.

As the third and final hour of the movie begins to unfold, though, there was a bit too much Tarantino-ism going on. What I mean by this is that there was an overuse of blood splatter action that didn’t fit with the tone and substance of the film’s first two hours. These moments, a character’s head exploding because of gunshots for example, felt jarring and seemed to be more inserted than actually being necessary.

Now, before anyone says something, yes, I know this is Tarantino’s style, I get it. It’s not as if I have a problem with violence either, in fact, I gave Tarantino’s last two films “Inglorious Basterds” and “Django Unchained” very positive reviews and they had plenty of violence. I simply thought that Tarantino could have dialed it back and went without the blood splattering. It has worked for Tarantino in the past, such as in the final battle in “Kill Bill Vol. 2.”

The characters featured in the picture were really strong, though, since the writing was so good. On top of this, Many of the actors gave extremely memorable performances. For example, Leigh, Goggins and Dern were all phenomenal and each had fantastic scenes with banter being exchanged with each other.

The ones stealing the show, though, were Russell and Jackson. Both of them play grizzled, experienced characters who have just enough respect for each other to get along through the movie. Both actors played these roles to perfection and were very convincing.

Especially good was Jackson, whose performance in my view is award worthy.

A review of “The Hateful Eight” wouldn’t be complete without complementing both the score and the cinematography, either. The music featured in the film is so on point and the cinematography featured throughout is absolutely gorgeous. There’s a legitimate sense of realism which is exactly what one wants from a period piece.

“The Hateful Eight” was a really good picture but isn’t Tarantino’s best. Much of the film is good, but the final hour of the film just got a little messy and it took me out of the experience. High 3 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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