Okay, it’s not strictly true to say we have no love for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, but while there are some things we like about this over-cooked mess of a movie, there is plenty we don’t like. It’s lovingly produced, carefully crafted, and it takes some provocative pokes at the hornets’ nests of race and gender, but ultimately, I have to ask–to what end?
Or maybe it’s just a marketing ploy, and nobody really cares what the exact count is. The double-barreled 8’s do give the whole thing a nice, symmetrical ring. It’s also a nice play on The Magnificent Seven, which is obviously a major inspiration.
It does. I’m not saying it doesn’t work; it’s just weird that he would do that. The movie starts out with the kind of epic vistas you’d expect from 70 mm, as Kurt Russell’s stage coach rumbles through the snowy landscape, but then the stage stops to pick up Samuel Jackson, and it’s basically just a scene in a play.
Yeah, sometimes. But sometimes I feel like it’s all an elaborate joke. Like, can’t Tarantino even try for period authenticity in his dialogue? When Samuel L. Jackson asks Kurt Russell if he’s “being paranoid” that takes me right out of the scene. That’s not even a good line in a contemporary story, much less one supposedly set in the 1800s.
But isn’t Tarantino all about the artificiality of cinema? Doesn’t he always call attention to storytelling conventions? Instead of pretending to verisimilitude–or even to create an alternative reality that exists only within the frame of the screen–isn’t Tarantino more about creating films that are in dialogue with the film canon and the creative process itself?
You make a good point, actually. But for me, Tarantino’s best films are the ones that tell a good story, like Jackie Brown, Reservoir Dogs, even Inglourious Basterds. I enjoyed the first half of The Hateful Eight, but I can’t see myself ever sitting through the second half again.
Yeah, and there’s great tension between the characters. You don’t quite know whose story to believe, or even who to like. Kurt Russell is totally believable as the abrasive, but oddly lovable, bounty hunter John Ruth.
I liked the way Jackson’s checkered past is doled out bit by bit, so you never know for sure just how you feel about him. Although, in comparison to the bad guys, I guess there’s never any doubt whose side we’re supposed to be on.
It was good to see Bruce Dern again. As a bad guy. Again. And Tim Roth, as the foppish hangman, was a perfect stand-in for Christoph Waltz–who I assume was busy shooting Spectre. The acting is uniformly excellent.
Yeah, she has fun as the scabrous Daisy Domergue, but frankly, I didn’t think the role gave her that much to do. She mostly just gets beat up and slimed. Which brings me to my chief gripe about the movie: If I want to see a second-rate movie horror movie, I’ll go see a second-rate horror movie, okay? I don’t need one breaking out in the middle of a western.
Yeah, I didn’t really get the point of all the blood. And it’s so silly. The way people’s heads were exploding, it was like one of those videos where the guys are shooting watermelons with machine guns.
I’m at a point in my life where there are certain images I just don’t need to see. I don’t need to see exploding heads, and I don’t need to see Kurt Russell vomiting blood into the face of Jennifer Jason Leigh.
That was another thing that bothered me about the movie. It’s like, the one thing that can unite the bitterest of enemies–male enemies–is the mutual hatred toward an unappealing woman. In a movie without a single truly virtuous character, why, exactly, was she supposedly the worst of the worst? I don’t get it.
Some fun, but ultimately pointless
Two tail-wags out of five