THE HATEFUL EIGHT Movie Review
If any living filmmaker has provided a good enough reason time after time to get out of the house and get down to a movie local theater, it would be Quentin Tarantino. For a man who claims to retire after his tenth film to end on a high note, his latest proves that he’s well on his way to fulfilling that cinematic prophecy. The Hateful Eight in many ways is Tarantino coming back full cirfcle to where he started with Reservoir Dogs, a tension filled, dialogue driven standoff with vibrant shady characters and a metaphorical ticking time bomb under the table that would make Alfred Hitchcock nod in approval. In some ways, The Hateful Eight feels like a perfect spiritual companion piece to Django Unchained, after Robert Richardson’s masterful cinematography takes advantage of the Ultra Panavision 70 sweeping through the beautiful mountains in a post-Civil War Wyoming blizzard, the narrative settles in Minnie’s Haberdashery for the remainder of the three hour running time and earns every minute we spend with eight engaging characters that well live up to the film’s title.
This tightly wound character driven enssemble is a big reminder of how great Tarantino is with handling actors, a clear example being Samuel L. Jackson as Major Marquis Warren – his most rounded and defined performance since Jackie Brown. As usual, Tarantino also proves why his favorite character actors are underappreciated, making Walton Goggins as Chris Mannix the biggest surprise, stealing every moment he’s afforded without resorting to ham-fisted showboating. Jennifer Jason Leigh as Daisy Domergue is dynamite and I couldn’t picture anyone else as this character. She’s a desperate and mean-spirited ticking time bomb and you never really know what she has up her sleeve. Rounding out this incredible sporting cast is Kurt Russell, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern and last but not least an incredibly exciting turn by Channing Tatum. Ennio Morricone has crafted a wonderful score that’s full of suspence and includes three unused tracks from John Carpenter’s The Thing, which is worth noting a huge influence on this film as well. It just wouldn’t be a Tarantino film without some of his pop jukebox magic to add the finishing touch and you can expect some fun inspired choices by the likes of The White Stripes, David Hess and Roy Orbison.
A well-placed intermission sets up the unraveling mystery as the tension builds to a high boil where Tarantino lets his trademark bloody carnage explode like fireworks on the Fourth of July, leaving another satisfying addition to his solid filmography. Although it makes me sad that he only has two more before he retires, it puts a smile on my face knowing that he’s going to make those two movies count. if you feel like escaping to the dirty old west with eight of the most lividly shady entertaining characters this side of the snowy mountain for three hours of cinematic mayhem and joy over the holidays, I can guarantee that The Hateful Eight will not let you down.