A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Red Rock – The Hateful Eight (2015)

My most anticipated movie of the year.  A Wyoming winter Western, this is about a bounty hunter (Kurt Russell) and his bounty (Jennifer Jason Leigh) coming into a haberdashery to seek shelter from a blizzard.  There are a number of people already there, and the question arises: who can be trusted during this stay?  I know I haven’t reviewed much of his works (yet), but I am a die hard Quentin Tarantino fan.  I get positively enthralled whenever I watch or even rewatch any of his films, and I celebrate the man’s entire library, as each movie is its own unique experience.  The Western is one of my favorite genres out there, so when I finally got to watch The Hateful Eight, it ended up being a little slice of everything that I love about movies.

2And I am all about this entire cast as well; it’s like Tarantino all-stars.

It’s been a great year for Westerns, and I would go so far to say that they are coming back in a big way.  With movies like Slow West and Bone Tomahawk, filmmakers are crafting traditional stories, as well as fusing them with different genres, like horror.  The Hateful Eight is its own animal, because it doesn’t feature your standard Western tropes; you never get sweeping vistas in the hot desert, for example.  It is a bottle film more than anything, and the majority of the chapters in this story take place in the haberdashery.  What makes this movie so great is how well the script is written.  It is so damn good, it is captivating.  A friend of mine made the comparison, and it is so apropos, I can’t get it out of my brain: The Hateful Eight is Western Clue.  So much of this is trying to figure out who is who and what their motivation is, and while I’m not certain how much this will have in replay value until I watch it again, I’m more than convinced it will hold up on its own merits, the dialogue really is that good.

1This will likely be one of the movies I go back and rewatch the quickest.

The only concern I had about this going in is that I thought the king-sized 3 hour runtime might be gratuitous.  It’s Tarantino’s longest film to date if you count the Kill Bills as separate chapters and movies, and I’m quite pleased to say that you never feel the length of this.  You are engaged this entire time because you’re trying to solve the mystery yourself, and the way that this story unfolds is glorious.  All the characters are well rounded, and even if Tim Roth is just doing a Christoph Waltz impression, it’s still a fine one.  I’m also all about Walton Goggins in this as well, and I love that he is getting quality work post Justified.  Jennifer Jason Leigh is great, Sam Jackson is great, the Morricone score kicks all kinds of ass, and I can’t stop raving about everything to this.  It’s extra violent, so I can’t recommend it to everybody, but if you consider yourself to be a fan of Tarantino movies, I don’t think that this will disappoint.

The Hateful Eight (2015) *****

– Critic for Hire

Want to see where this fell in my list of best films of the 2015?  See for yourself here.


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