In post-Civil War Wyoming in the dead of winter, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) take shelter in a cabin already occupied by a collection of nefarious characters. No one is who they seem and John Ruth must protect his bounty till the blizzard passes.
The Hateful Eight is Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film and if you know anything about Tarantino and his type of films, you’ll kind of know what to expect from The Hateful Eight. There’s a lot of swearing, a lot of fast-talking, and a lot of violence and blood. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but what it does, it does well.
Joining John Ruth and Domergue in the cabin are Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) another bounty hunter, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) a man who claims to be the sheriff but no one really believes him, Bob the Mexican (Demián Bichir), Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth) the hangman, General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern) a quiet old man with a grudge and Joe Gage (Michael Madsen) a shifty-looking cowboy. All these characters together in a small space lead to an explosive showdown. However, the problem is that it takes a long time for them all to come together in the cabin. The first third or so of The Hateful Eight dragged as it was incredibly dialogue heavy and you only followed a couple of characters. Once everyone was together in the cabin, you got to see how all these different characters interacted and bounced off each other and that was the true delight in The Hateful Eight.
The highlight of The Hateful Eight is the characters and the actors’ performances. Jennifer Jason Leigh doesn’t say a lot compared to her male counterparts but when she does she’s spitting in anger and is captivating to watch. Walton Goggins is another standout performer, he’s a quick talking guy who comes from a proud albeit slightly dodgy family and his reactions to the situations he finds himself in are often laugh out loud funny.
When it arrives, the violence and gore is shocking because it had been so quiet (relatively speaking for a Tarantino film) up to that point. It’s not till the final act that everything really kicks off. It’s somewhat satisfying as up to that point the tension had been building through verbal sparring so the payoff is big and very violent.
Besides from having a great script, The Hateful Eight also has a brilliant score by Ennio Morricone that makes the hairs of the back of your neck stand on end and it is a beautiful looking fim.
It might not be for everyone but The Hateful Eight has a great script and brilliant character dynamics. 4/5.