"The Hateful Eight” just happens to be the eighth film made by Quentin Tarantino (get the joke?), director of such great films as “Pulp Fiction” and most recently “Django Unchained.” Kurt Russell stars as a bounty hunter with his newest catch, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). On the journey to Red Rock, the bounty hunter and Daisy comes across six others sheltering in a lodge during a big winter storm. And thus, the great Tarantino-esque action and dialogue ensues.
What works in this movie is primarily the cast. Tarantino always chooses a great cast. It was true with “Pulp Fiction,” with “Django Unchained,” and now with “The Hateful Eight.” Samuel L. Jackson, better known as Col. Nick Fury from his Marvel appearances, does a remarkable job as another bounty hunter with a lot of guts and a habit for shooting people. Same goes for Kurt Russell, who plays a nonsensical killer who is passionate about his job. Jennifer Jason Leigh gives an incredible performance as a living bounty who has spunk and will talk trash to just about anyone. There are other great performances, such as Tim Roth as a hangman.
What’s more, the dialogue is beyond phenomenal. Tarantino is a master at writing witty, exciting dialogue, even in very slow parts. Every scene is engaging and filled with humor. Even better is the mystery during the second half of the movie, which again includes great dialogue and intense moments.
Of course, with Tarantino movies comes Tarantino violence and disturbing moments. This film is no exception; there’s a lot of blood and a few bodies falling to the floor. Some scenes are downright disgusting and unsettling. In one, Jackson’s character is talking to a general, and it is one of the most disturbing things I have ever witnessed in a Tarantino film.
As great as the dialogue, action, and violence are, there are some problems with the film. For one, it doesn’t get to the interesting parts until after an hour. Again, although the dialogue tries to keep it engaging, the characters can only talk so much before things get boring. Also, the run time is three hours and seven minutes with an intermission. Most people aren’t comfortable sitting in a theater for that long.
While certainly not my favorite Tarantino flick, “The Hateful Eight” is a great Western about revenge. Its engaging and clever dialogue and the buckets of blood mostly make up for the dry parts.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.