The Hateful Eight Review

As much blood as you’d expect, but with half the promise

As the latest installment in Tarantino’s stellar library, (the eighth in fact, fancy that?) we all expect wonders. Especially considering the plot being very much his style. I mean, who doesn’t expect a gang of a bounty hunter, hangman, sheriff, gangsters and the like, all cooped up in a shack with one wanted woman? This being the case I was surprised to find that this wasn’t quite what I was after. As much as I enjoyed the film, I can’t quite give it the glowing report I so wished.

As this is his eighth film you’d think that it would open in a similar fashion to the rest. In some ways it does as the music sucks you in from the get go but leaving the eyes wanting a damn sight more. The sights aren’t much to behold, even with the promise of a star-studded cast, but maybe that’s because there isn’t much to behold with just snow and wagons to work with.

Now the introduction of characters has to be where it gets interesting, no? That maybe so with some but definitely not all. Samuel L. Jackson’s intro left me wanting a hell of a lot more. His cocky outlook may have saved him here but seriously didn’t make up for the lack of flair we have come to expect. The character of Major Marquis Warren unfortunately only comes into his own about a quarter of the way through which really did disappoint me to start with but still was worth the wait. In the beginning it feels like his only real interest comes from the back and forth with Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh, but I feel like a lot of that comes from the character of Daisy Domergue.

However, Jennifer Jason Leigh left a lot to be desired as she is mostly silenced except for the odd bursts of sass followed by a swift blow to the head by her captors. Again she finally comes out of her shell a few chapters in. Just watching her with the guitar had me absolutely mesmerized as the focus is finally on her. It feels like for the most part, she is an object to keep Kurt Russell’s character important.

Now, Tim Roth is what really stole the show for me. His performance left me completely satisfied with his charming upper middle class English accent and small snippets of wit. He leads you into feeling his character to be just a charming and bubbly human being with his delightfully humorous (and somewhat camp) outlook. When he is revealed to be the hangman for Daisy, he really had me laughing in my seat while trying to stop other cinema goers from noticing and thinking I’m some sort of mad woman. It seems that for the beginning, Tim Roth (or shall I say Oswaldo Mobray, oh la de da) is what keeps your attention, or at least he really had mine.

One thing that really did disappoint had to be the fact that even an hour in, it feels as if nothing has really happened. As if it wasn’t just that, events start to unfold, just to be interrupted by one of the most disappointing voice overs I have ever heard. There’s a murder, a poisoning and blood everywhere, and the voice over completely ruined that for me. Guess who the narrator is? No other than the director himself, Quentin Tarantino. I expected a lot more due to this being in my knowledge and I was really upset to find that it took you out of the story just that little bit too much. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed what he had to say, and it was there for a reason but the narration was rather un-moving.

All in all, The Hateful Eight happened to be a good watch but still didn’t have the same marvel that the previous seven so rightly displayed. I’d recommend it, but only on the basis that you should hold out for the ending as I can tell you, it will blow your mind. Possibly with a pistol.

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