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The Hateful Eight

Tarantino is one of the greatest American auteurs of all time. He has only produced eight films in his career, but all eight of them have been great with extremely complex plots, great dialogue, and, of course, a lot of blood. His latest film is The Hateful Eight, his second western after 2012’s Django: Unchained.

The Hateful Eight is very much a mystery film as it is a western. The basic premise is set in the 1860s Wyoming and how seven men and one woman are stuck in a cabin during a blizzard. The cast of characters includes John Ruth (Kurt Russell), a bounty hunter taking the criminal Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to hang. The pair, pick up a few hitchhikers along the road, one who also happens to be a bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), and another is a soon-to-be Sherriff, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins). At the cabin they meet the Mexican, Bob (Demian Bichir) who is taking care of the cabin, the British hang man Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the veteran Confederate General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), and the passing traveler Joe Cage (Michael Madsen). During their stay many questions come up, and many of our characters seem to have bumped into each other in the past, it keeps the audience on their toes with only one thing certain: some of these people aren’t who they say they are.

Tarantino is a master of dialogue, after working at a video store in his earlier years, he was able to rid himself of cinematic predictability, and it has pushed him to search of refreshing and organic ways for his characters to interact. The storyline is crafted and weaved in such an expert way; you can tell that Tarantino spent a lot of time on it. The story keeps everyone guessing and observing, and it ends up being enough to pull the audience through the excessive runtime. He also imbues some of the same racial messages that he had in Django, and this film really ends with an incredibly inspiring and unifying moment, something that can never be shown enough in today’s America.

I was very happy to see Samuel L. Jackson reteam with Tarantino. You can tell that the two get along very well. Jackson was finally given top billing in this film, and with it he gets to spur out a bunch of monologues that remind us of his famous speech in Pulp Fiction. Jennifer Jason Leigh was great as well as the mean and bloodied Daisy, she truly makes her character become even more repulsive than most of the men. As for the rest of the cast, they included some Tarantino rookies and some veterans; overall they did a fine job, and treated Tarantino’s precious script with passion and love.

Tarantino’s director’s cut for this film had a runtime of over three hours, however I saw the shortened “studio version,” and even so it seemed like the film was artificially stretched just for the sake of length. Don’t get me wrong, the film doesn’t feel as long as it truly is, but it doesn’t feel like a 90-minute flick either. Tarantino might have been a bit too unchecked, and it might have been helpful if someone had been there to supervise and trim some fat.

Lastly I want to mention Ennio Morricone. Morricone is one of my favorite characters in cinematic history. The Italian composer has churned some of the most beautiful soundtracks every made. In The Hateful Eight he gives the opening credits such an epic opening that he already sets the mood of suspicion before a single word is uttered. The man is truly a genius, and it is great to hear a new and fresh composition.

In the end, this film is what you wanted it to be: a classic Tarantino movie; filled with fountains of blood and a witty dialogue to challenge Aaron Sorkin. While The Hateful Eight might be a bit slow in terms of pace, it never once leaves you bored.



About Young Critic

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I've been writing on different version of this website since February of 2013. I originally founded the website in a film-buff phase in high school, but it has since continued through college and into my adult life. Young Critic may be getting older, but the love and passion for film is forever young. 

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