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A Return to Form in Hateful Eight

Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson in The Hateful Eight (Via The Weinstein Company)

The Hateful Eight is Quentin Tarantino’s eighth feature film. Taking place in post-American Civil War Wyoming, it features Kurt Russell as a bounty hunter named John “The Hangman” Ruth and Samuel L. Jackson playing another bounty hunter named Maj Marquis Warren. Ruth (Kurt Russell) is taking a fugitive named Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to a town called Red Rock, where he is to collect a reward of $10,000. On his way, he encounters Maj. Marquis Warren, who is also taking three bounties of his own to Red Rock. They pick up another hitchhiker along the way, who claims to be the new sheriff of Red Rock. The trip to Red Rock, however, is soon delayed by a blizzard, forcing the party to stop at Minnie’s Haberdashery, where they encounter four strangers. It is soon realized that one of them is not who they say they are. Someone is an accomplice to Domergue, but no one knows whom. No one can be trusted in this thrilling and engaging new film.

In many ways, The Hateful Eight is a very typical Tarantino film with snappy dialogue and dark humor. The characters of the film are all very engaging in their own right and keep the audience wondering who Domergue’s accomplice is.

Along with the plot and characters, this film is beautiful aesthetically. The cinematography makes the viewer almost feel as though they are in the Rockies with wide, breathtaking shots of the mountains.

The music in the film sets the atmosphere up well, too. Composed by Ennio Morricone, the soundtrack harkens back to olden times out west with songs that sound as though they are almost folk songs. The soundtrack intensifies whenever the plot does, creating for the audience a greater understanding of what is at stake.

One criticism I have of the film is that it runs rather long, especially in the third act when the film reveals its twist.

By the end, the film becomes gratuitously violent, as many of Tarantino’s films are.

This film is not for the faint of heart or those who have trouble seeing blood on the screen. For fans of Quentin Tarantino’s past works, the film will be a highly enjoyable experience as it features many of the same tropes and themes. People who dislike Tarantino’s work will be disappointed again, for the most part. ​

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A Return to Form in Hateful Eight