The Hateful Eight is the eighth film(both volumes of Kill Bill count as one movie) by one of the most popular and consistent directors of our era – Quentin Tarantino. The Hateful Eight does have a lot of expectations to meet since his last two movies, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, were his two biggest movies to date. Before I seen the movie, I only knew the plot. A story set in the Civil War era about eight strangers who share a cabin together during a blizzard. I thought to myself – has Tarantino ever did a movie where the movie mostly took place in one setting? Luckily for us, it is Tarantino’s clever screenplay filled with entertaining dialogue that keeps us interested in the movie. Hell, he can write a movie about two people in a closet and I bet it would be great.
As stated above – this Western takes place in a stagecoach passover in Wyoming. We are introduced to John Ruth(Kurt Russell), Daisy Domergue(Jennifer Jason Lee), Major Marquis Warren(Samuel L. Jackson), and Chris Mannix(Walton Goggins) who are all in Ruth’s stagecoach. John Ruth is a bounty hunter known as “The Hangman” because rather than return the bounty dead – he rather watch them hang. Unfortunately for Daisy, she is his bounty. While the two of them were on the way to Red Rock, they pick up Major Marquis Warren who is also a bounty hunter(with 4 dead bounties) and Chris Mannix who is actually the new sheriff of Red Rock. The blizzard forces them to make a stop where they meet some people who might not be who they say they are. Once we learn they are stuck in the cabin with the other 4 people – the movie turns into a violent, western version of the game Clue.
I am a huge Quentin Tarantino fan, but I was not too excited about this movie. The premise didn’t get me hyped up about the film at all. But like true Tarantino fashion, once the movie started – I could not look away. Tarantino always has an eye for creating interesting and memorable characters. In my opinion, the two characters that everyone will remember will be Major Marquis Warren and Chris Mannix. Samuel L. Jackson gets the lead in this film and he does a fantastic job here. It’s been awhile since we have seen him in the lead and he proves that he still has it. In my opinion, Walton Goggins surpasses him. His character Chris Mannix to me, has the most depth. Out of all the characters, we see him grow the most. From the start of the movie, I thought he was going to be the villain and ends up proving me wrong. I would love to see Goggins get some sort of a nomination for the Oscar race. But other than those two having the main spotlight, everybody else does a great job as well. With a cast that also includes Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Demián Bichir, and Channing Tatum – this might be one of Tarantino’s best roster to date. BUT, it is not Tarantino’s best movie to date.
Look, I enjoyed the hell out of The Hateful Eight. To me it surpassed my expectations, but it just wasn’t Tarantino’s best. And that’s not a bad thing. Look at his resume and even though you may have a personal favorite, I’m sure you enjoyed every movie on that list. What he does with this movie, the cast, and the one setting is brilliant. I remember when the script leaked and Tarantino announced that he would not be making the movie anymore. Very happy he ended up changing his mind since we get what should be a movie that will be nominated(and maybe even win) for Best Original Screenplay.
Like any other of his movies – The Hateful Eight gives us the “Tarantino Recipe” of violence, memorable characters, clever dialogue, fantastic imagery, and a hell of an entertaining time. The second half of the film, when the mystery element comes into play, almost makes it feel like a totally different movie. Just when you think you have the movie figured out, it does a swerve and keeps you guessing. I highly recommend audiences to watch this in theaters once it is released. I give The Hateful Eight a 8/10.