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The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight: Tarantino’s Latest Ensemble Masterpiece Doesn’t Disappoint

  • Jennifer Jason LeighKurt Russell...
  • Mystery & SuspenseThriller
  • Quentin Tarantino
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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The Hateful Eight: Tarantino’s Latest Ensemble Masterpiece Doesn’t Disappoint

There’s been plenty of excitement in the run-up to the release of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight; a film that, thanks to a script leak back in 2014, almost never came to be. Offering an exceptionally restrained but equally enticing cinematic experience, The Hateful Eight is a realisation of Tarantino’s love affair with westerns and, although the film is not for everyone – especially those who are easily offended – there’s still plenty to love about his unique assembly of western-comedy-drama mash-up.

Set years after the Civil War, the story follows bounty hunter, John ‘Hangman’ Ruth (Russell), who, along with his coach driver O. B Jackson (Parks), is hoping to make it through the relentless Wyoming snowstorm and deliver his prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Leigh), to authorities in the town of Red Rock.  Crossing his path is fellow bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Jackson), who is having trouble continuing his journey to Minnie’s Haberdashery – a popular stopover safe point – due to the bad weather. Also in need of a lift is Chris Mannix (Goggins); the son of a confederate war who also claims to be the Red Rock’s new town Sheriff.

At first, Ruth is reluctant about taking the two men aboard his; however, after some convincing from both men, he eventually agrees. Eventually arriving at their destination, instead of being greeted by Minnie, they are welcomed by a group of courteous strangers, including Oswaldo Mobray (Roth), Bob (Bichir), John Gage (Madsen) and General Sandford Smithers (Dern). As the group sizes each other up, suspicions and distrust in each other’s motives soon skyrockets, leaving the men paranoid and afraid and with no place to run.

Cleverly written, superbly envisioned and packaged as a tension-filled stage play of sorts, The Hateful Eight is yet another celebration of Tarantino’s distinctive style and his unapologetic approach. Unlike his last western adventure, Django Unchained, the film is surprisingly restrained; however, the deliberate use of a slow-pace and drawn-out dialogues – which are once again enriched with clever wordplay, witty one-liners and a certain poetic grace – is there to infuse the story with tension and depth.

Never missing a beat, the choice of cast is equally impressive, as are their performances, though it’s Jackson and Leigh – the Carrie reference is superb – that end up stealing the show.

Smart, violnet and politically incorrect, The Hateful Eight is Tarantino through and through and although definitely not one of his greatest, it is still another wonderful addition to his eclectic filmography.

360 Tip

The Hateful Eight is only the eleventh film to be shot in Ultra Panavision 70; a film has not used this extremely rare process since 1966's Khartoum.

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