Hateful 8: bad or great?
A couple weeks ago I watched Quentin Tarantino’s 8th film The Hateful 8 for the first time. I decided I would leave it a little while before giving my views so that it is a true representation of how the film impacted me. I feel like whatever I remember now says a lot more than whatever I remembered just after watching it.
So let’s get into it.
I’ll try to not make this as long as the film itself.
Let’s start with the plot and ask the question: what do I think the story was?
Oh yeah, SPOILERS!!!
So The Hateful 8 is a wintery western that follows a group of unlikable people trapped in a wooden house for almost the whole film. We have Sam Jackson as a bounty hunter, on his way to collect his bounty. Kurt Russell is also trying to collect a bounty, on a prisoner he is keeping alive (at least it isn’t star lord this time) so that the hangman gets to do his job. This prisoner just so happens to be the mum from Netflix’s Atypical which is good cause she was a bitch anyway. There is also the rather forgetful stage coach driver and the sherriff that I recognised but couldn’t tell you what he was from. Marvel’s abomination (what ever happened to him? Like he just disappeared at the end of that Hulk film. I hope he is on the raft and is released to help fight the next big bad guy. I would like Galactus personally) joins the party in his human form, Tim Roth as the towns hangman. There was that Mexican dude that I don’t remember the name of played by somebody I don’t know. Michael Madsen from the kill Bill films played a grumpy writer and lastly there was the racist war veteran who was part of an arm chair.
So Sam Jackson, star lord’s dad, the only girl, the new sheriff and the stage coach driver are forced to go to Millie’s cabin to wait out a blizzard. The rest of the cast are all waiting inside. When some of the characters die from somebody poisoning the coffee, Sam Jackson starts an investigation. And it reveals that Kurt Russell’s prisoner was the sister of Channing Tatum (oh yeah he is in this for 5 minutes I forgot) who is the leader of some huge gang and the rest of the people in the cabin are also part of that gang. Basically everyone ends up dead I think. It’s not clear if Sam Jackson and the sheriff die or if they manage to survive. But yeah that’s the story. It seems pretty lacking now that I’ve written it down, especially for a 3 hour film.
Though the story seems a bit empty I feel that the film makes up for it with all the character development. It was definitely a character based film rather than story focused. That was very much a good thing about this film, the amount we knew about each person really fleshed out the world they were living in. Not only this but it really made you root for certain people.
The acting in this flick was pretty great all round and there was loads of playful dialogue being thrown about. Kurt Russell’s character was a big presence for the first half of the film and sort of acted as the voice of the audience as he probed each character, trying to get information out of them which for us as viewers, supplied bountiful amounts of information. And the camera work of the landscape was brilliant, it was able to really create a sense of isolation when needed and maintain an old school western feel. The musical score for the film was also really good and felt like it had quite a presence in each scene, it really helped drive things forward.
On the whole, this film felt like a drawn out, exciting game of Cluedo. In which the journey of asking the questions was more exciting than the conclusion of the game. There was also a lot more blood and gore than any game of Cluedo I’ve ever witnessed. Whilst I have said mostly good things about the film I feel like it was lacking a bit of heart. I didn’t find myself invested in any of the characters, expecting each of them to get their head blown off in the good old QT fashion.
Watch 10 more times or never again? Though I do like the film it’s going to be never again for me. It was just too long for too little heart for me.
But why should you listen to me? I push almost every door marked pull. So go make up your own mind… If you like long westerns and violence. If you don’t then go enjoy a bath and a book. If you can’t read then just have a bath and stop staring at your screen wondering what all these words say. Oh I do love a good tangent.
See you later.