First Word: Director Quentin Tarantino released this gritty western that is The Hateful Eight in 2015. This mystery follows the usual Tarantino players including Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, and Walton Goggins, along with some new faces such as Channing Tatum and Jennifer Jason Leigh. This is the eighth film directed by Tarantino and it was shot in Ultra Panavision 70. The Hateful Eight grossed 54 million at the box office.
Plot: The Hateful Eight introduces us to one bounty hunter, John Ruth (played by Kurt Russell), who has caught Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). His female fugitive is worth a pretty penny if he can just get her to the next town over. Mr. Ruth is therefore very protective of his criminal and never lets her leave his side. Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) are picked up by Ruth on his way to the town of Red Rock. Due to the dangerous blizzard they are forced inside the cabin where they meet a few other gentlemen. Bob claims to be taking care of the cabin while Miss Minnie (the owner) is away, Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth) claims to be the hangman of Red Rock, Joe Gage claims to be an innocent passerby, and Sanford Smithers claims to be a former Confederate general. All eight strangers will be forced to huddle in the confined cabin and will soon realize that the blizzard outside should be the least of their worries. 8/10
Cinematography: As with most Tarantino films, The Hateful Eight is shot beautifully. From the stylized violence that we’ve all come expect from Tarantino to amazing on location shots that were filmed in Colorado. This film is beautiful and I’m sure it would have been even more breathtaking to watch in the original Ultra Panavision 70. 9.5/10
Characterization: Tarantino has a knack for introducing many characters and still giving each one a purpose and arc. The Hateful Eight’s characters, however, were not as impactful when compared to other Tarantino films. In my opinion, most Tarantino films have one good character that you can root for (Django in Django Unchained, Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs). In The Hateful Eight I struggled to find the character that I cared about and wanted to see succeed. It seemed as though most of the characters had bad intentions and I ended up not caring if any of them made it out of the cabin. 6/10
Conclusion: Although The Hateful Eight is a beautiful film it lacks the plot twists and intriguing characters that I have come to expect from Tarantino. Also the film is a bit lengthy (2 hours and 47 minutes to be precise), and it seemed even longer because I wasn’t always concerned about the characters. Of course the acting was superb (I can watch Samuel L. Jackson and Tim Roth any day), but the problem kept coming back to the actual characters and their motivations. I just wasn’t as invested in them as I would have liked.
Final Score: 7.8