The rule are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.
The Hateful Eight (The Weinstein Company)
Written & Directed by Quentin Tarantino
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Quentin Tarantino is not a good director. But he is one of the best writers working. The Hateful Eight is a collection of cool conversations and gunfights sewn together awkwardly by a man who couldn’t tell a visual story with actual words on the screen. And yet again he does that Pulp Fiction non-linear thing here. And yet again there’s no need for it. But The Hateful Eight is incredibly enjoyable and violent and bad-ass and just all kinds of Tarantino. It’s just pure “Tino.” Okay? And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
As the title suggests, there are eight folks who ain’t very nice. Outlaws, Gunslingers, Lawmen, Hitmen, Bagmen, Highwaymen. These are seven bad guys and one bad chick. And they end up in the same place. Tarantino introduces them to us one at a time without any sense of expedience (or timing). The movie moves incredibly slow. Perhaps annoyingly so. And I get it. The Ennio Morricone music. The beautiful old western setting. He wanted a slow spaghetti western feel, and as always, Tarantino took it way too far.
But while he’s doing that, while he’s making us wait, he’s introducing each of these three-dimensional characters in beautifully tense scene after beautifully tense scene. They are all (there’s actually more than eight) incredibly well-written with the most amazing dialogue. And we get scene after scene of epic stand-offs and ultra-coolness just vibrating off their bodies. Quentin Tarantino can write his ass off.
All the actors are good. While they’re talking that “Tino” talk. That steely eyed, I’m saying something really bad-ass, hope I don’t crack a smile, it’s gonna look really cool on-screen, “Tino” talk. I love that shit. And the really good actors can walk that line between; “Am I saying this because I’m scared?” and “Am I saying this because you should be scared?” That’s that “Tino” talk. That’s why his scenes are so tense. Nobody’s a superhero. Everybody’s scared to death. They’re just used to it because they’re bad-asses.
So Q assembled all of his major bad-asses from past films. Samuel L Jackson, Micheal Madsen, Tim Roth, along with some new faces like Jennifer Jason Leigh who would have stolen any other movie except that everybody’s so cool in this. Plus a couple of surprise cameos that I won’t give away. Jennifer Jason Leigh is getting a lot of praise for this role but she’s just another bad-ass reciting his dialogue. Just another bad-ass that he puts in some incredibly cool, incredibly intense scenes. The Hateful Eight is awesome. If I had seen this movie when I was in High School, I would still be quoting it. If my grandfather were still alive this would be his favorite film.
Every scene in this film is amazing. And really fucking cool. I mean it’s childish and it’s violent. But it’s like a Dungeon and Dragons campaign in the early stages, when all the super-bad high-level player characters meet in a tavern before going to slay the dragon and collect all the loot. But except in this Campaign, in this particular D&D game, none of these epic characters want to work together.
I’m sorry if this review doesn’t really do this movie the justice it deserves. So, let me put it this way. Reservoir Dogs is my personal favorite “Tino” talk film. It’s amazing. Reservoir Dogs is beautiful because the characters are fantastic and the dialogue is so good. While Kill Bill is his best directed film in my opinion. For me it’s his best pure movie experience. So I would describe The Hateful Eight as Kill Bill meets Reservoir Dogs in the Old West.
Yes. The Hateful Eight is that good.