The Hateful 8 is the 8th film from the cinema god, Quentin Tarantino. Though this isn't the best offering we have gotten from the acclaimed director, it still towers over the work of even the finest of his colleagues.
The Hateful 8 brings back some of Tarantino's best muses. Tim Roth and Michael Madsen, both star Tarantino's debut, Reservoir Dogs. Proof that both can deliver in The Red Apple's Universe. Hateful fulfilled the potential of a Kurt Russell and Tarantino movie promised in Death Proof. Watching and hearing Russell transform into the foul mouthed bounty hunter, John Ruth “The Hang Man” is just a joy to watch. Samuel L. Jackson also returns to top notch form bringing along with him one of his best on screen performances since he first worked with Quentin on Pulp Fiction.
Tarantino also taps a few new friends to play in the cramped Minnie's Haberdashery. Jennifer Jason Leigh is the the center of the plot without being the lead of the film and the way she pulled it off was mesmerizing. Such a breath of fresh air in this male-centric movie, even though at many points it's very easy to forget about gender as Jason Leigh holds her own with the big boys. Another fantastic part of the cast is Welton Goggins. His portrayal of the newly appointed Sheriff of Red Rock is stuff the edge of seats were made for.
Tarantino's focus of this film was the dynamic 70mm lenses he used to shoot with. The same lenses used to capture the films massive mountainous backdrop, grab us into the more personal up-close moments. Weather we’re watching Russell’s stage coach driver and Sheriff Mannix running rope from the out house to the main house in a blizzard or in the confines of the wagon reading a letter from President Lincoln, this 70mm lense choice is one made for cinefiles. From the opening overture where the audience is met with an eerie slow zoom out, Quinten establishes the importance of perspective. Small details fade into the grandness of the bigger picture. Unfortunately some of that carries over into the film's story itself. When talking about a movie shot in this scale, its a shame that the attention to story detail isnt as grand as the visual representation of them. This western who-done-it packs some good twists and turns and some empty ones as well. Strong performances and brilliant dialogue couldn't cover up a few of the films hiccups. But quite honestly, after an arguable 7 for 7 a record, its easy to forgive Tarantino.
Over all, The Hateful 8 is a treat for cinema fans who enjoy a good story and captivating performances. The 3 hour run time might be a hump for some, but well worth it.