Movie Title: The Hateful Eight
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 3 hr. and 7 min.
Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo
Where did I watch it?: Home
The Hateful Eight has a fantastic soundtrack and a great ensemble of actors, but is missing some of the mystery that is Tarantino’s trademark. The cast is phenomenal. Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) talks his way into the company of bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) in the film’s opening segment. The two have fantastic chemistry and chew the scenery together in a delightful fashion. Both personalities are larger than life and dwarf the other characters, though each of the rest shines in smaller moments. Kurt Russell is taking Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to Red Rock to hang. Along the way they pick up Chris Mannix (Walter Goggins) who claims to be Red Rock’s new sheriff. Mannix is a virulent racist and former confederate soldier. After arriving at Minnie’s Haberdashery everything seems off. Minnie isn’t there. The regulars aren’t there. Minnie has left her store in the hands of a man Major Warren has never met that goes by the name of Bob. This introduces us to our three other principle actors Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern who all shine in their roles.
The composition was done by the legendary Ennio Morricone and made it fairly clear what Tarantino’s primary influences were for the movie. The Hateful Eight is more or less a combination of The Thing and Reservoir Dogs. This is especially clear because some of the soundtrack from The Thing is recycled directly into the movie and the themes of the movies are very similar. A bunch of men are put into a situation where they can not trust each other. The Thing is one of my favorite movies, so this did not endear me to The Hateful Eight.
The real problem with the movie is its lack of mystery. Something is so obviously afoot that the ruse doesn’t make a lot of sense. The fact that no one in the haberdashery sees something as amiss leads the viewer to draw a fairly easy logical conclusion. The movie is also overly long. Even discounting the intermission and the opening score a solid thirty minutes could have been axed from the movie.
It is not Tarantino’s best, but it is still a well made and at times excellent movie. The conversation between Samuel L. Jackson’s union soldier and Bruce Dern’s confederate general about his missing son makes it worth seeing alone. See it.
Tomorrow’s Movie: War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)