Quentin Tarantino / Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins / Western / 2016 / 15 / 167mins
If you want to watch a naked guy crawl through the snow to give Samuel L Jackson a blowjob, then this movie is for you!
Now that you’re fully enticed by that wonderful prospect I’ll delve into more curious matters. First off, this is his second Western, straight after the success of his previous project Django: Unchained. This is unusual, Tarantino is obsessed with genre and goes out of his way to make movies based on different genres he grew up loving: Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are gangster flicks, Jackie Brown = blaxploitation, Kill Bill = martial arts/action, Inglorious Basterds = war, etc. He’s even publically announced his intention to direct his last two films in different genres, a 30s period gangster and a horror. Breaking this near-autistic level of dedication turned many heads when he announced his latest piece.
You see, The Hateful Eight is in fact a very intricate play put to film. That’s it – that simple. Save for some brief scenes in the snow and the stables, the two main settings are a horse-drawn carriage and a cabin, all fitting into 6 chapters. Tarantino, it seems, has evolved once again, and I think it’s a much matured evolution. Akin to Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino is retreating to the comfort of pure dialogue. It’s quite a feat to behold – each monologue is intriguing and develops each of his characters one by one. This all rests heavily on the strength of the acting, and of course Tarantino whisked up a stellar cast and they in turn produced the goods. Jennifer Jason Leigh as convict Daisy Domergue is genuinely creepy and pretty deranged, and Tim Roth and Samuel L Jackson are quite funny, but for me it’s Channing Tatum who steals the show.
Normally I stay for the quotes, the pop culture, the film techniques and references. Now I want to rewatch it for the character and plot development; even if it amounts to nothing more than a Western tinged big screen adaptation of Cluedo. But will fans of Tarantino applaud it? I doubt it – it’s slower pace and reliance on dialogue more than action will frustrate some, but the fact Tarantino relies heavily on his own clichés (needless violence being a primary example) even for a straightforward comedy thriller shows he’s trying to appeal to both worlds but ends up half-assing the final thing.
Intelligent thriller without that trademark Tarantino grit.
Film as a Film – 4 / Target Audience – 3 / General Audience – 3
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By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use. Sourced via Wikipedia.