It’s about damn time Quinton Tarantino put out something new. I feel like I have to wait decades between his movies, which sucks, because he is my favorite director.
What can I say? I dig excessive violence.
It looks like he’s digging the historical perspective, as this one is another one set in Civil War era. John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) is a bounty hunter crossing Wyoming with unhinged prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) during a blizzard. They pick up a few sidekicks along the way, to include Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), both notably connected to the Civil War on opposite sides.
So it’s clearly set for some conflict, and the tension is almost immediate. Every character in this movie has an ulterior motive and a backstory. It’s Tarantino at his absolute best. As a result, he picked many of the actors he loves to pair up with for movies like this, including Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell, who both bring their best to their roles. Another standout is Jennifer Jason Leigh, the sole female character in the film who manages to be an incredibly intriguing character. Her quicksilver temper and over-the-top reactions are perfect and she truly is a stand out character.
Of course, we can’t go over a Tarantino movie without discussing the gore and there’s lots of it. However, sometimes it went too far, to the point where it almost felt slapstick. There’s a fine line between tongue in cheek violent, and straight up comical, and in that, a few scenes in this movie missed
The running time is painfully long. At 2 hours and 47 minutes, expect a numb butt by the end of this one. That’s especially difficult as there’s an underlying mystery and this whole movie can be a bit exhausting. I feel like a few scenes should have been left on the cutting room floor. I have yet to see a movie over two hours long that couldn’t have been shorter and still been effective…and yes, I’m including Schindler’s list in that equation.
I do dig the flashback scenes that give us a fully fleshed out look at how all of the characters came together. Tarantino is the king of bending time and making it fit together seamlessly and the Hateful Eight is no exception.
This is a film that you can really sink your teeth into. Despite its long running time, it didn’t really drag out. Instead, you’re kept thinking through the entire thing and there are more than a few surprises in store. This is Tarantino in a way I haven’t seen him since Pulp Fiction, and that’s high art, as far as I’m concerned. While Django Unchained got a bit difficult to watch and was a bit flat in the storyline, Tarantino’s second historical film is better in that he has a lot more character development.
This is absolutely worth the watch, though you may want to get comfortable. You’re going to be there awhile.
WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!