Friday, 5 February 2016

The Hateful Eight (2015)

Genre

Mystery | Western

Director


Country

USA

Cast

Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, James Parks, Channing Tatum, Dana Gourrier, Zoë Bell, Lee Horsley, Gene Jones, Keith Jefferson, Craig Stark, Belinda Owino, Quentin Tarantino

Storyline

During the winter in Wyoming, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive captive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) race towards the town of Red Rock. Along the road, they encounter Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), an infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a man who claims to be Red Rock's new sheriff. Lost in a blizzard, they seek refuge at Minnie's Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive, they are greeted by four unfamiliar faces: Bob (Demián Bichir), who's taking care of Minnie's while she's visiting her mother, Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, the eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all.

Opinion

As if having to wait until February the 4th for this film wasn't awful enough, I didn't even have the opportunity to see the 70mm version - which according to everyone makes a hell of a difference -, but at least I got to see it in English. Anyway, I feel very, very sorry for the haters, because Tarantino did what Tarantino does best, he made another masterpiece.

Raw, bloody and insane, "The Hateful Eight" is an excellent western as well as a great murder mystery with a great story, stunning cinematography, and sublime music.

Let's start from the storyline. It's simple, at the same time very improbable and absolutely convincing, and it's told in a complex, interesting and unique way that will keep your eyes glued to the screen throughout the entire running time - whether 167 minutes for unlucky people like myself, or 187 minutes for the lucky ones. If I had to compare it to another Tarantino it'd definitely be "Reservoir Dogs", Tarantino's debut film - Michael Madsen and Tim Roth are even in it!

The first "peaceful" half is built almost entirely on witty, philosophical, and deeply engaging dialogue, which serves to set the stage for the characters. Following a big plot twist that brings the narrator, Tarantino himself, back a few minutes to show a scene from another point of view, the second half is what one would call a typical Tarantino.

Just like most of his films, the story is divided into chapters and the events aren't in a chronological order, but each missing piece is unveiled when needed, making the story very thrilling and unpredictable.

The violent action scenes always have a reason to be in the film, and transform the hateful eight's mental violence into pictures. Also these scenes are perfectly balanced with the slow, calm ones.

The setting is excellent. After 30 minutes or so taking place on a stagecoach, the film then entirely takes place in Minnie's Haberdashery, a small cabin in the middle of nowhere. Besides from giving almost a claustrophobic feeling, and recalling once again Tarantino's first time, it shows how much this genius can do with so little.

Everything is spectacular, from the excellent camera work from Robert Richardson to the meticulous set pieces and costumes, to Ennio Morricone's fascinating, enthralling, and sinister musical score that makes the smell of blood palpable from the very beginning.

The acting is top-notch. Yes, Jennifer Jason Leigh is spectacular as Daisy Domergue and she even got an Academy Award nomination, but let's not forget about the rest of the cast. At his sixth collaboration with Tarantino, Samuel L. Jackson does a wonderful job as Major Marquis Warren, once again in the role of a divine executioner. He really gives his best when teaming with Tarantino, he performs his words like no other, and delivers some very interesting and intelligent monologues. Needless to say this was an Oscar worthy performance. Tim Roth gives a performance as Oswald that feels like Christoph Waltz's in "Inglourious Basterds", which is a good thing. Kurt Russell, Walton Goggins, Michael Madsen, Demián Bichir and Bruce Dern also do a great job with the characters.

In a nutshell, all people love of Tarantino's films - witty dialogue, bloody violence, non-linear storytelling and black humour - is in "The Hateful Eight". So if you are a fan, like myself, you can't miss this.


When the handbill says "dead or alive", the rest of us just shoot you in the back from up on top a perch somewhere and bring you in dead over a saddle. But when John Ruth the Hangman catches you... You hang! - Major Marquis Warren

10 comments :

  1. Great review! I didn't get to watch the 70mm version either, but I still really enjoyed it :)
    Loved how it kept us all guessing throughout!
    - Allie

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  2. I'm really looking forward to see this film - now even more than before :D

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    1. I hope it will live up to your high expectations

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  3. I'm a pretty big Tarantino fan, but his Westerns aren't working for me. I really disliked this film. I found it far too long for its own good and completely devoid of any real purpose other than a showcase for Tarantino's adolescent obsession with blood and profanity. It tries to force some discussion of the racial divide in America (that certainly is present), but that didn't land for me either. It seems to be a love it or hate it sort of movie, like most of his, and I we seem to be on opposite sides there. Great review! I just did a huge Tarantino retrospective. I would love it if you checked it out.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that, but this really seems to be one of those films you either love or hate. I just read your post about Tarantino, simply brilliant!

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  4. Il Tarantino più cattivo di sempre. Magnifico!

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    1. Pulp Fiction resta comunque il numero uno.

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  5. Glad to read how much you love this film. I have been hearing mixed reactions but I love Tarantino so I don't think I will be disappointed

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    1. I'm not sure about that. The mixed reactions are among those who love Tarantino as well. Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy it!

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