Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight is either a cinematic masterpiece or a disgusting blood-fest depending on your tolerance for extreme violence. The dialogue and ever-increasing tension is spellbinding. However, like many Tarantino’s movies, the violence becomes absurdly graphic.
The Hateful Eight takes place in large stage coach way-station, a few years after the Civil War. A group of very different and very dangerous people are stranded by a blizzard. The group includes a bounty hunter. “The Hangman” (Kurt Russell) and his prisoner Daisy (Jennifer Jason Leigh). The Hangman is convinced that the other stranded people are going to try to either steal his prisoner for the bounty, or else free her. He may or may not be paranoid.
The Civil War is be over but the hatred from the war is not. Some of the men were confederate soldiers, and others Union. It does not help that one of the stranded men was a Negro Union Officer. Major Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) was famous for the number of Confederates he killed. Major Warren’s prize possession is a letter hand-written to him by Abraham Lincoln.
Quentin Tarantino is undoubtedly the best writer of dialogue in the film industry. From the very beginning of the film we know that some of the people are innocent travelers and others are lying murderers. Through the long and complex conversations, the movie slowly reveals who the people really are and what each of them is trying to hide.
The Hateful Eight also has fascinating side conversations about violence, justice and passion. In one scene the characters discuss that the fact that the very dispassion of a hangman is what makes executing someone justice rather than revenge. If a hangman cared one way or another it would not be justice.
Jennifer Jason Leigh is perfect as the psychotic Daisy , who is being brought to her execution. Every time you think it will be impossible for her to act any more insane, she actually brings it a notch higher. Jennifer Lawrence really wanted this part, but Tarantino felt she just would not be able to be this “over the top” wacko.
Bruce Dern is a Confederate General who is not exactly pleased to be sharing lodgings with a Negro Union Officer. The General also has secrets and an agenda of his own.
Of course, nobody does over-the-top crazy better than Samuel L. Jackson. He is a combination of Civil War hero, stone cold killer, and revengeful maniac. He is forced to team up with Southerner Cris Mannix (Walton Goggons) who may or not be the local Sheriff.
So this is where our reviewers have a split decision on the movie. Adam rates it Five Stars for its perfect dialogue, last minute twists and action scenes. Greg gives it only Two Stars since he feels the violence takes away from the rest of the movie. If you are thinking of renting the movie, be advised that it has an arm chopped off, a head exploding, people vomiting blood after being poisoned, and of course many many people being shot.
That being said, we leave it to you our readers to make your own decision according to your personal taste.
- Our rating for The Hateful Eight – Adam Five Stars *****/Greg Two Stars**
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