According to the man himself, a director has to make three westerns before he can call himself a western director. Quentin Tarantino is one step closer to realising his own rule with The Hateful Eight, set in the same universe as 2013’s Django Unchained. At one point it seemed unlikely that the film would see the light of day after a highly publicised set leak, but it is here and it is pretty glorious.
The Hateful Eight has a relatively simple premise – bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) is bringing Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to Red Rock to hang, when he encounters fellow bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson) and Chris Mannex (Walton Goggins), who is claiming to be the new Sheriff of Red Rock. They stop at Minnie’s Haberdashery to wait out a blizzard, where they find former Civil War General Sandford Smithers (Bruce Dern), hangman Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), drifter Joe Gage (Michael Madsen) and Bob (Demian Bichir), who has been left in charge of the premises. Thus the stage is set as the hateful eight are stuck inside Minnie’s for the duration of the blizzard.
One thing is sure of all Tarantino films, and that is that you will either love them or hate them. The guy has a distinctive style that makes it immediately obvious that you are watching a Tarantino movie, such as tight dialogue and over-the-top violence, and it is all here for fans to savour and non-Tarantinoites to scoff at. The dialogue is fantastic, with a number of laugh out loud one liners littered throughout. Jackson gets the majority of the great lines, and his Major Marquis allows the actor to be at the top of his game.
The Hateful Eight doesn’t reach the heady heights of Tarantino’s best, but it is also a far cry from his worst. Enjoyable throughout it’s excessive runtime, a cinematic play bolstered by excellent dialogue and a cast on top of their game, The Hateful Eight is a film not to be missed by Tarantino fans.