Quentin Tarantino is one tricky pony. It’s hard to criticize him, since he almost always goes against the norm. A good majority of his movies are often panned by most critics and yet always end up becoming cult classics. Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs are a few of these, and Tarantino’s new movie, The Hateful Eight joins them. The Hateful Eight is Tarantino’s 8th movie, staring an immensely talented cast. A small one too, there are only 17 (18 if you count the narrator) characters in the whole movie. The actors all bring life to their characters and each one feels just as intriguing as the last. Tarantino certainly has another hit on his hands.
The film (mostly) follows 8 personalities as they are trapped together in a lodge until a snow storm passes. John Ruth “The Hangman” (Kurt Russell) is bringing in “The Prisoner” Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to hang in the town of Red Rock, where all of the main characters are heading towards. En route to Red Rock we meet Major Marquis Warren “The Bounty Hunter” (Samuel L. Jackson) and Chris Mannix “The Sheriff” (Walton Goggins). Upon reaching the lodge, called Minnie’s Haberdashery we meet the rest of the characters which include Oswaldo Mobray “The Little Man” (Chris Roth), Bob “The Mexican” (Demián Bichir), General Sandy Smithers “The Confederate” (Bruce Dern), and Joe Gage “The Cow Puncher” (Michael Madsen). The snow storm keeps them all locked in and forced to spend it with each other until it blows over.
John Ruth is dedicated to making sure Domergue hangs, and doesn’t let anything stand in his way of making sure that is achieved. He uses extreme caution to ensure the safety of both him and Domergue, as he believes firmly that one or more of them is in cahoots with her. We see a lot of accusations and fighting (as expected) and the lodge eventually becomes separated in two in an attempt to keep everyone sane. There are a lot of twists that happen, especially when reaching the climax of the movie.
The movie takes place in 6 chapters. For the most part they are in chronological order, save for the last two. It gives a little insight as to what’s going to occur in that chapter, most notably Chapter 4’s “Domergue’s Got a Secret.” Chapter 5 goes back to the moments before John Ruth and co. arrive at Minnie’s Haberdashery where we discover the truth behind the real motives of everywhere there. The Final Chapter picks right back up where Chapter 4 ends, and we see the final fates of everyone.
I must praise the movie for its dialogue. It is smart, funny, and works all around. Marquis Warren gets the award for best monologue, perhaps the best in a Tarantino movie since Pulp Fiction’s famous watch scene. It’s even under the same kind of vein, and it makes for one of the most memorable scenes of the movie. The major events in the film all matter, and when the first one occurs, it sends the characters and the film into a spiral of accusations and twists. It shows how one little thing can shake up so much.
It was directed phenomenally, and there were lots of really awesome looking shots. The set pieces were all nice and felt very real. The snow and blizzard really help to create cool camera angles that aren’t seen often, especially later on in the movie where they are making a line from the stable, to the outhouse, to the lodge. One scene that really stuck out was one where there’s a white horse and black horse running side by side in a profile shot. It looked very good, and shows the imbalance of the characters we’re about to see, as it’s quite early on in the movie.
The Hateful Eight is absolutely worth your time, and is a fun ride all throughout. The true motives of all characters are complicated and Tarantino keeps us guessing until the very end. Even for a 3 Hour runtime it still leaves you wanting more. The whole cast and crew did a phenomenal job, and brought to life one of the best films of 2015.