The Hateful Eight takes place in the years following the Civil War and stars Samuel Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, and a handful of other Quentin Tarantino favorites, along with two or three new faces. It takes place primarily in Minnie’s Haberdashery, the only place for anyone to take shelter in on a mountain during a blizzard, which includes a bounty hunter attempting to get a bounty into the next town over alive, an ex-union major, an ex-confederacy general, a sheriff, and an executioner, just to name a few of the personalities.
Minnie’s Haberdashery is a large one room cabin, forcing these out-spoken characters to deal with each other. The drama comes in the form of John “the Hangman” Ruth’s assumption that one or more of the people stuck in the haberdashery with him is working with his bounty, Daisy Domergue, to help her escape. From there, the dialogue takes you on most of the journey through this film, with classic Tarantino gore thrown in when needed.
The Hateful Eight is two hours and forty-five minutes long. If anyone else except for Quentin Tarantino made a movie that’s pushing close to three hours and it was driven primarily by the dialogue of people in one room, I would probably just avoid it altogether. However, Quentin Tarantino did write and direct this movie, so I couldn’t be more excited to see people sitting in a room and talking for three hours.
I wasn’t let down. This movie, visually, is the throwback to the old 70mm movies from the golden age of Hollywood that I’ve been promised. The opening credits are nothing but massive and immersive shots of the mountains and woods that Minnie’s Haberdashery resides in. Everything minus some of the visuals, however, are bluntly Tarantino. If you’re at all familiar with Tarantino as a filmmaker, you’d be able to guess who wrote and directed The Hateful Eight from the first scene. As with all of his movies, he’s the real star of the show, whether you see him on camera or not.
Samuel Jackson plays an ex-Union major who fought during the American Civil War. It’s good to see him front and center in a Tarantino movie again, and he does fantastically as the driving force of the movie. It’s been a while since Jackson has given a performance that you can say wasn’t just him playing himself on screen, and while not wearing an eye-patch. He gives what I’m assuming will be yet another famous Tarantino monologue, and aside from being one of the best monologues given since D’jango Unchained, it’s without a doubt the most shocking.
The violence, while not as much is shown as in other Tarantino movies (see Kill Bill), is undoubtedly brutal, frightening, and once again shocking. It comes out of nowhere and catches you off guard, which is a reason that the run time isn’t as much of an issue since you stay engrossed in every shot and every line spoken, not knowing what comes next or who’ll do what.
The Hateful Eight deserves to be seen, so instead of seeing Star Wars a fourth time, go see this. I shall give this film an 8/10 (no pun intended).