Quentin Tarantino’s second venture in the spaghetti western style of filmmaking (the very same style that has been an elemental inspiration to him throughout his career), stars an ensemble of seasoned actors, lead by Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell.
During the most brutal blizzard of the winter, in Wyoming, two bounty hunters: Major Marquis Warren (played by Samuel L. Jackson) and John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) encounter each other along a snowy road, on their way to Red Rock. Joined by them is wanted murderer Daisy Domerghue, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh — whose Academy Award nomination is a testament to Tarantino’s tendency to resurrect actors’ careers (e.g. John Travolta in Pulp Fiction) — her performance is spectacular, cunning and solicits a generally hateful (no pun intended) reaction from audiences. She is John Ruth’s bounty, who he wishes to hang at the town of Red Rock. The three cross paths with Chris Mannix, who claims to be Red Rock’s new town sheriff. Eric Roth, Michael Madsen, Demian Bechir, Bruce Dern and a surprising cameo from an actor riding the proverbial artistic wave all compliment their characters’ quirky and revealing ambitions. All of these peoples’ fates intertwine at Minnie’s Haberdashery
For its 187 minute runtime, The Hateful Eight is a very contained and tightly weaved plot. Despite its restricted landscapes, Robert Richardson showcases some of the best cinematography work of 2015, earning himself a nod from the Academy. As the story progresses, Warren and “The Hangman” become increasingly suspicious of their fellow guests at the Haberdashery which sets the platform for a rollicking and combustible series of events. The violence is portioned, but ultimately as gory and beautiful as we’ve come to admire out of Quentin Tarantino’s arsenal.
VERDICT – A brilliantly riveting and lusciously sparse masterpiece that is one of the best films of 2015. A bloody, poetic epic that deals with the different mentalities and political stances of that time and an extremely satisfying metaphorical ending.
RATING: 9.5 – AMAZING
MVP: Samuel L. friggin’ Jackson!