The Hateful Eight
THE HATEFUL EIGHT (18)
D: Quentin Tarantino
The Weinstein Company (Richard N. Gladstein, Stacey Sher & Shannon McIntosh)
167 mins (uncut version: 187 mins)
W: Quentin Tarantino
DP: Robert Richardson
Ed: Fred Raksin
Mus: Ennio Morricone
Kurt Russell (John Ruth), Samuel L. Jackson (Maj. Marquis Warren), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Daisy Domergue), Walton Goggins (Chris Mannix), Demián Bichir (Bob), Tim Roth (Oswaldo Mobray), Michael Madsen (Joe Gage), Bruce Dern (Gen. Sanford Smithers), Channing Tatum (Jody Domergue)
The simplest way to describe Quentin Tarantino's eighth film is as a remake of John Carpenter's The Thing, re-imagined as a Western but with a similar bleak setting. This may not be 100% literal, but there's plenty of references to the sci-fi/horror classic, from the snowbound locale to its casting choices, even Ennio Morricone's moody score seems like a nod.
Kurt Russell's tough-as-nails bounty hunter, John Ruth, is transporting a dangerous villainess, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) across snowy Wyoming terrain when a blizzard strikes. He picks up a former soldier turned bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and a stricken sheriff (Walton Goggins) en route but the weather becomes too much, so they and their carriage driver take refuge in a remote cabin, where four others take shelter. Ruth becomes increasingly suspicious that one or more of these strangers is plotting to rob him of his prisoner and claim the reward themselves, but tensions soon run high when some of the members realise they have prior history with each other, eventually leading to blood being spilled in a complex plot for revenge.
Like most Tarantino films, the film is very dialogue heavy, with the build up characters taking up the first half of the film. In fairness, the opening half-hour is quite throwaway and it wouldn't affect the viewing experience too much if you were to simply skip it to the point all the characters arrive at the cabin.
As always with Q.T. scripts, the dialogue is crisp and sounds genuine, but the N-word is bandied about far too frequently, to the point where it becomes ridiculously gratuitous. None of the performances from the ensemble disappoint, with Jennifer Jason Leigh the clear standout with her comeback role. A deserved nominee for Best Supporting Actress at the 2016 Oscars.