Friday, July 22, 2016

Movie review: The Hateful Eight

Bounty hunter John is delivering Daisy Domergue for hanging when the two become stranded, along with six others, at a post-Civil War haberdashery in Wyoming.  But the strange characters are only the beginning of a nefarious plot.

Samuel L. Jackson (Maj. Warren), Kurt Russell (John), Jennifer Leigh (Daisy Domergue), Walton Goggins (Sheriff Mannix), Demian Bichir (Bob), Tim Roth (Oswaldo), Michael Madsen (Gage), Bruce Dern (Gen. Smithers), James Parks (O.B.).

As usual Quentin Tarantino takes an unusual approach to storytelling and The Hateful Eight is no exception. Presented in chapters, out of order of course, the film does a wonderful job of making promises on which it really never delivers. While the story was good, it might well have been just as good in order. The plot is entertaining but stews together quite slowly and as often the case in Tarantino films, includes plenty of graphic violence and gore. The final chapter ties things together well but overall is something of a non-event after almost 3 hours of build-up.

Acting, as it should be with a cast like this, was wonderful. Leigh did a great job, delivering a range of emotion and quirky mentality that fit the film perfectly. Jackson was entertaining as usual and did nicely. Russell was in-type and contributed well, as did Roth and Madsen. Goggins was another enjoyable bright spot with very good energy. The remainder of the cast was solid and did quite well.

Camera work was enjoyable with the 70mm picture being consistently clear and crisp. Sets and backgrounds while somewhat simple were enjoyable and well done. Action scenes were intense and well executed. Dialogue was campy at times but solid with some nice touches of humor. Sound and soundtrack were good.

Overall The Hateful Eight is an interesting and entertaining western that Tarentino fans will likely enjoy more than most. Those who enjoy an intense western should enjoy this as well, though they may be frustrated with the storytelling approach.

With plenty of violence, gore, foul language, explicit nudity, and sexuality, save this one for older teens and above.

Released: 2015
Reviewed: 7.17.16
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Westerns, Crime Action, Action & Adventure, Crime Drama

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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