The Hateful Eight takes place during a cold blizzard in post Civil War Wyoming. We first meet bounty hunter, John Ruth “The Hangman” (Kurt Russell) taking prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to Red Rock in order to watch her hang. On Ruth’s way into town, he comes across Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) who has three bounties of his own. On the way into town, the weather becomes brutal, and Ruth, Domergue, and Major Warren, must reside in Minnie’s Haberdashery until the snow melts. However, these three are not the only residents staying at Minnie’s for the night. When strange events begin to happen, Ruth must take charge, only for the night to turn into a classic who dunnit.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. The mighty cast which includes, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, along with Russell, Leigh, and Jackson, alone makes this film worth seeing. But with the mastermind of Tarantino behind the script and direction of this film, it turns into something incredible. Russell’s portrayal of John Ruth in this film, takes me back to Russell’s Wyatt Earp character in Tombstone. Russell is amazing to watch, as his character is like sandpaper, rubbing the other characters the wrong way, and he doesn’t care who has a problem with it. I also love how Tarantino can take an actor from out of left field and turn them into an unbelievable character. This is what he did with Leigh and her character of Daisy Domergue. I had only seen her in the trailer, but I thought she was believable. I’ve seen Leigh in a few films (Road to Perdition, eXistenZ) but none that would warrant her portraying a character like this. Her witch like character sent shivers down my spine and made me turn away in disgust. However, it is Jackson’s performance that really takes the cake in this film. In what might be Jackson’s best performance since Pulp Fiction, he delivers huge moments of dialogue so realistically, that you begin to cringe. Especially the one moment when he talks about an incident that happens in the past. Wow…you will be sitting on the edge of your seat as the suspense just builds and builds.
Tarantino utilizes the whole ensemble in this film. It’s great to see that so many characters, no matter how small their parts, all have an important role. This film reminded me more of a stage play. The characters don’t go to different locations, often. You, as an audience member, are stuck in the same claustrophobic environment for a large duration of the film. In what seems like a Western version of the Clue, Tarantino’s newest film is different than his other seven. The Hateful Eight is slower paced, and more psychologically disturbing than violent. However, I didn’t seem to mind, as the film’s quick and witty dialogue kept me intrigued.
We all know how great a filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is. However, when directors begin to get older, their directing ability begins to waver, and makes us wonder is this director truly great? Well, that hasn’t happened to Tarantino. At the age of 52, Tarantino has shown no signs of stopping. And with the release of The Hateful Eight, I hope retirement for Tarantino is nowhere in the near future.
The Hateful Eight
DIRECTED & WRITTEN BY: Quentin Tarantino
STARRING: Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern