Master filmmaker Quentin Tarantino returns to the harsh landscape of the western frontier for this brutally gripping film that places eight of the nastiest villains, anti-heroes and rogues together in one place, and lets them battle it out in a fierce game of wits.
Set 8, 10 or 12 years after the Civil War, The Hateful Eight finds bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) on their way to the town of Red Rock where Daisy is to be hanged. On their way, they encounter union soldier turned bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and the roguish Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), who claims to be the new sheriff of Red Rock. Stopping off at Minnie’s Haberdashery, they encounter five other men including Bob (Demian Bichir), hangman Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the mysterious Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and former Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). But it soon becomes clear that nothing is as it seems, and one or more of these men is not who he says he is.
From the film’s opening frame, Tarantino’s lightning fast dialogue grips your ears, and the full expression of his talent as a wordsmith is brought to light here. With dialogue and conversation leading the film, The Hateful Eight has the tempo of a play which is constantly changing and evolving as the film pushes forward.
Tarantino has the best of the best on hand here, and all of his performers give their all to this wide range of villains. Make no mistake…there are no heroes here. Standouts include Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal as the charismatic Marquis Warren, Tim Roth’s eccentrically debonair Oswaldo Mobray, and the dual performance of Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh as odd couple John Ruth and Daisy Domergue. As Domergue, Leigh offers a particularly captivating performance, and her twisted character will no doubt go down in film history.
It wouldn’t be a Tarantino film without lashings of blood and plenty of profanity, and The Hateful Eight has these trademark features in spades. Driving the narrative forward, these effects are at one with the savage world that the characters inhabit. The Hateful Eight might be placed as a western in terms of genre, but there’s definitely a good helping of horror in terms of tone within the film, especially Italian Giallo cinema, which Tarantino has long drawn from in his list of credits. Of particular note is the spectacular score by the legendary Ennio Morricone, who has delivered an evocative score that captures the heightened cabin fever of the haberdashery, and the mad souls trapped inside.
The Hateful Eight is another glorious addition to the Tarantino collection, brought to audiences by a filmmaker who never fails to entertain.
Image: Roadshow Films