Review: The Hateful Eight

hateful8 Distributor: The Weinsten Company
DirectorQuentin Tarantino
Writers: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Channing Tatum
Genre: Western
Rating: R
Quentin Tarantino does not fail to deliver in this mystery-solving, gun-slinging film. Well-executed dialogue, classic plot twist, and all shot in 70mm? Can’t get any more film classy than that!

Storyline

Taking place six to eight years after the Civil War, Director Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight focuses on bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth delivering Daisy Domergue to hang in the Town of Red Rock, Wyoming. They come across bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren and Sheriff Chris Mannix, who both are on their way to the same town center for personal business. As a blizzard catches up with their stage coach, they have no choice but to wait the storm out in a cabin currently inhabited with a suspicious group of men. After a number of events take place in the cabin, the stranded party members begin to call each other into question as to what has taken place and who is behind said events.

Content Guide

Violence/Scary Images: Knowing Director Tarantino’s style, this film has a large amount of violence, from gunshots and stabbings to hangings.
Language/Crude Humor: Countless ‘N’ words throughout along with F*** and B****.
Sexual Content: In a flashback, one character is seen naked in the snow giving Samuel L. Jackson’s character oral sex by force.
Drug/Alcohol References: A few shots here and there of characters having a drink and a smoke.
Spiritual Content: None.
Negative Content: From vulgar language to brutal beat downs and shots being fired (literally), this films has a large number of negative content throughout. While I am a fan of Director Tarantino’s work, I cannot recommend this to the Christian audience as a whole.
Positive Content: Due to the fact that there is racial tension throughout the film, some characters put aside their differences to work together and even protect the other for the sake of the group.

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Presentation

Director Quentin Tarantino does not fail to deliver when it comes to the execution of dialogue, whether it be by a group of characters, two individuals, or even a monologue. While each character greatly and thoroughly carried their own weight, Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, The Avengers) stole the show through his witty and cunning monologues. Can’t really have a Tarantino film without Sam Jackson somewhere in the story.
A number of these casting choices greatly surprised me. It has been a little while since I have seen Kurt Russell (Thing) appear on the big screen with a role as fantastic and believable as this, thereby reminding me just how good of an actor he really is. Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Machinist) surprised me as well. Based on the trailer, I never considered her character to be of great importance compared to the rest of the cast, but as the film carried on, her character became more interesting.
I was greatly surprised that Tarantino would cast Channing Tatum in this film, of all actors. This is not say that I think Channing Tatum is a bad actor, but it has been really hard for me to take him seriously in a non-comedic role after his performances in Dear John (2010) to even Magic Mike (2012). In The Hateful Eight however, I was duly impressed by his character portrayal, allowing me to have a different and more positive look on him.
One thing I greatly admire about Tarantino is how he tells stories. He hardly ever tells a story from beginning to end but rather will have a scene end and then replay certain scenes from a different point, thereby adding on to the overall plot and connecting the dots. With The Hateful Eight, not only do scenes such as this take place but they add on to the plot twist of who is behind the suspicious events, making the film even more enjoyable.
The cherry on top of this film was that it was shot in 70mm. While most directors focus on digital cameras, special effects, and 3D releases, Tarantino remains faithful to the Golden Age of Hollywood as he shoots the film in 70mm, giving a classic movie feel as it also contains an overture, intermission, and no trailers whatsoever. This is not to put down other filmmakers at all, it is to simply to point what Director Tarantino does differently compared to what is popular and up-to-date.
Going back to what made this film classy, the overture was a perfect fit for how the film was executed. Tarantino is widely known for using pre-recorded songs by artists for his music score, but from time to time, he will have an orchestra for his film and what better composer to get than the legendary Ennio Morricone? For those unfamiliar with his work, he has famously orchestrated the music scores  for classic spaghetti westerns such as A Fist Full of Dollars (1964), A Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966). Knowing his history, this film was a perfect for Morricone to orchestrate, thanks to Director Tarantino.
If I had anything beef with the film, it really is a minor yet a noticeable. When it comes to a story about someone killing off members in a group and everyone is trying to find out who did it, what makes it suspenseful is for a number of people to die off one-by-one in more than one way. While the film does this, it quickly jumped from a one-by-one picking off to where the beans are spilled and the character is revealed. It happened so sudden that it kinda ruined the moment of suspense. Again, this is only a minor teeth grinder along with other small and unnoticeable moments, but nothing to really distract or destroy the entire film.

Conclusion

Quentin Tarantino does not fail to deliver his eighth film to the public. From well-executed dialogue to an unforgettable music score, The Hateful Eight ends the 2015 film year with a bang!

Positives

+ Well executed dialogue + Fantastic music score + Classical feel of the golden age of Hollywood

Negatives

- Too early of an execution of certain plot twists

The Bottom Line

Quentin Tarantino does not fail deliver in this mystery-solving, gun-slinging film. Well-executed dialogue, classic plot twist, and all shot in 70mm? Can't get any more film classy than that!

 

9.4

Trey Soto

Trey Soto holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Biola University, emphasis in Interpersonal/Rhetorical Theory. He has been a Film Critic/Analysis for over a year at Geeks Under Grace and other websites such as Temple of Geek. In his spare time, he enjoys comic book literature, screenwriting, production assistant freelancing, photography, cosplay, and hosting his own film podcast T.V. Trey on Podbean and iTunes.

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