Hot Take: For Quentin Tarantino’s 8th film, there are plenty of Tarantino calling cards and some truly exquisite cinematography (especially if you see the “Roadshow” version). There’s some “haven’t we kind of seen this from QT before?” element but not the overriding factor. In the end, it’s violent, funny, foul, controversial and a hell of a lot of fun (in the sickest and most twisted sense).
Quentin Tarantino is a polarizing filmmaker. His films typically are loved or hated. For those who hate Tarantino’s previous work, it’ll likely be more hate for The Hateful Eight. This isn’t that “very different” Quentin Tarantino film you’ve been waiting for. (Just a guess, you’ll probably never get it.) For those who love his work, The Hateful Eight is loaded with things you’ll love. The casting, the characters, the dialogue, the humor, the score, the violence… it’s all there.
As a fan of Tarantino, the biggest criticism of the film is that the first half of the film is nearly flawless to the level that the second half of the film pales in comparison. Considering the length, this possesses a problem because, as viewer fatigue sets in at roughly 90 minutes, the film derails a bit and takes some effort to get back on track.
As an aside, the first time I saw Pulp Fiction, I thought the Bruce Willis/Ving Rhames driven part of the story could be completely axed from the film and it would never be missed. Now, upon re-watching the film, I feel very different and this is one of my favorite parts of the movie. So, maybe I’m wrong about the second half of The Hateful Eight.
Since it’s release, I’ve seen the film twice. After the first viewing, I was blown away by Samuel L. Jackson’s performance. During the second viewing, I was more intrigued by Walton Goggins’ character. All in all, each viewing had a different feel (and not because one was the “Roadshow” version and the other was the nationwide release although that gave a different feel as well) and I noticed aspects of the film that I both loved and hated differently. There’s no doubt I’ll see it again and if it’s similar to his other work, each viewing will feel slightly different than the last.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Walton Goggins
It seems like every Tarantino movie has an unexpected actor or actress emerge. For me, Goggins emerged from The Hateful Eight. His performance as Chris Mannix was hilarious and very entertaining.
- Samuel L. Jackson
Peanut butter and jelly, lemonade and summer, Christmas and candy canes… Tarantino and Jackson.
- True to the Title
You’ll be entertained by the eight characters at the center of the film. You’ll probably find them funny. But not one of them is likeable… and that’s what makes this film devilishly fun.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- The Second Half Could Use an Editor
My opinion didn’t change much about the second half other than how much better the ending was when I knew what I was in store for to get there.
- The N-Word
It’s nowhere near as prominent as it was in Django but it’s still pretty heavy and it’s a little unsettling at times.