One of the few things you might instantly know about me is that I really don’t do well with Western movies. This one is set several years after the Civil War in Wyoming – and it is written and directed by none other than Quentin Tarantino. That explains the amount of bloodshed and the 3 hour runtime. The fact that it is a Tarantino film is the only reason any sane person would sit through a 3 hour Western in 2015 (or 2016 when it comes around). With that long of a running time, this review will only scratch the surface of the actual story.
As the story begins, we see a stagecoach coming from a distance (a very long distance) that contains a bounty hunter by the name of John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). He is bringing her to town alive and ready to be hanged. Along the way, they will run across another bounty hunter (and the only black person in the movie) Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) as well as Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) who claims to be the towns next Sherriff if he can only get there.
After several delays along their route, the group decides that they should wait out a blizzard at Minnie’s Haberdashery – a famous stagecoach stopover. When they get there, they are greeted by neither Minnie or any other familiar faces. They meet 4 strangers that say that Minnie left in charge of the place. In total, there are 8 travelers. The Hateful Eight – I get it now. They will spend some time together at Minnie’s getting to know each other and getting to hate each other more and more. Trust is not something that is in big supply at Minnie’s. Most are armed and some in more ways than one.
The Hateful 8 has an intermission and the first half is mostly talk and then second half is some talk, some mystery and some death. For those of you now complaining about spoilers – 1. I didn’t say who died and 2. If you are surprised by death then you’ve never seen a Tarantino flick. There is some intense violence and the N-word is thrown around left and right – not surprisingly since this one is set just years after the Civil War. The best thing about the second half is that you have no idea what is going to happen and who did what.
The Hateful Eight has a lot of things going for it – great acting, great violence and Tarantino. It is also very long (too long in a couple of areas). There are several monologue’s that seem to run on forever and there are just some bits and pieces that seem to take forever to develop. All of that being said, The Hateful Eight is a film that you should see (it’s Tarantino for crying out loud), although you should make sure your stomach is full and your bladder is empty. It is also not a film that you are likely to watch over and over again, unless you have 3 hours of free time very often.