So, The Hateful Eight. We are introduced to ‘The Hangman’ -JOHN RUTH (Kurt Russell) a bounty hunter, in possession of a dangerous female fugitive, DAISY DOMERGOO (Jennifer Jason Leigh) along with his wagon driver OB (James Parks) they proceed to Redrock, the neighbouring town of which Ruth plans to hang Domergoo. In light of an imminent blizzard, despite having additional ‘baggage’, another bounty hunter MAJOR MARQUIS WARREN (Samuel L. Jackson) and later proclaimed Sheriff CHRIS MANIX (Walton Goggins) climb aboard to a droll interrogation by the illusive ‘Hangman’ A theme of deception and false identity arises by this point, just as Major Warren earns himself a somewhat reassuring credibility, producing a letter from President Abraham Lincoln. As each chapter unfolds, the sense of deception becomes paramount, the remaining four of the ‘Hateful Eight’ meet at Minnie’s Haberdachery, a stagecoach lodge. Senõr BOB (Demián Bichir), claims to be looking after the place while its owner Minnie (Dana Gourrier) is out of town, to a suspicious Major Warren and Sheriff Manix. While a looming paranoia regarding the hefty bounty sum resides with the unsettled ‘Hangman’ Lodgers OSWALDO MOBRAY (Tim Roth), JOE GAGE (Michael Madsen) and GENERAL SANFORD SMITHERS (Bruce Dern) each find themselves subject to rigorous scrutiny on behalf of the only two characters who’s stories SEEM to add up. The remaining characters including CHANNING TATUM are intertwined in typical Tarantino fashion by means that play on the linearity of the storyline, to awesome theatrical effect.
Now I did go into this as sceptical as one would be when Samuel L. Jackson gets cast with a modern Monsieur Candy, but even with Channing Tatum did this take my love for Tarantino a way way, yonder. If you happened to have seen Inglorious Basterds or Django Unchained it’s no surprise that there’s gonna be a hell of a lotta blood, guts and a dash of casual racism but it’s of no contextual difference to that of post Civil War America -1861-1865- Ennio Morricone composed the score for Tarantino’s 2016 blockbuster despite saying he would ‘never’ work for him again, only to go on and devise a greatly ominous yet satirical arrangement similar to that in Kill Bill. Despite my own personal appreciation of The Hateful Eight I can see why it isn’t going to be for everyone, with heavy emphasis on longer takes, predominantly conversational scenes and even some slo-motion, I get the place for some critique. For me though, it was the western mystery’s progression into a somewhat cowboy’s Cluedo, that had me fixated for all three hours worth. Now the length of this film would probably deter cinema goers, unless that is, your local screening comes with leather recliners and on hand masseuse. Although I would definitely urge anyone to go and see it rather than snag a substandard version online. It’s something about sharing painful laughter with complete strangers that I find deeply satisfying, and the boisterously blunt, schoolyard trash-talk tone present in The Hateful Eight is one to have you spitting out your popcorn, or McDonald’s if you manage to sneak it in.
If you’re not familiar with the works of Tarantino and you’re looking for something that is going to entertain you on paper, I’d probably put The Hateful Eight on the back-burner and reconsider it once you know what to expect. To get onto overall recommendations of this film I would like to point out that it’s probably not an ideal first date movie and is certainly not going to rekindle the love between you and your partner, but its profoundly entertaining all the same. It’s safe to say Samuel L Jackson is one of the best and worst actors of all time, as Major Warren we are treated to his ferocious capacity to captivate, similar to his earlier works as ‘Jules Winnfield’ in black comedy crime cult, Pulp Fiction (1994) I would watch this again in a heartbeat, although I do believe its successes will reside entirely subjective, as the same for Marmite.