‘The Hateful Eight’ Review

The Hateful Eight

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Written by Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Demian Bichir, Michael Madsen, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, and Channing Tatum

★★★★★

“The Hateful Eight” is Quentin Tarantino’s second Western following 2012’s “Django Unchained.” Unlike “Django,” which was heavily influenced by the Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960’s, “Hateful Eight” is an entirely different kind of movie. “Hateful Eight” is less a Spaghetti Western and more an Agatha Christie style locked-room mystery warped up in a Western skin. Incorporating the locked-room mystery element into “Hateful Eight” was ultimately beneficial because it allowed for “Hateful Eight” to be a different kind of movie from “Django,” despite the fact that both films are in the Western genre.

When you see a Tarantino movie, there are two elements that you know will be well executed. Those elements are dialogue and performances. “Hateful Eight” is similar to a play in that about 90 percent of the information is given through expositional dialogue between the various characters, this allows the audience to learn all the relevant information about the characters without the movie having to go outside of the narrative to give that information. The dialogue not only moves the plot along but is witty. If there is one thing that Tarantino dialogue always has, it is wit.

“Hateful Eight” much like “Spotlight” thrives on its strong ensemble. Aside from Kurt Russell’s mustache, no one individual member of the group steals the movie. Although, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Walton Goggins would be the MVP’s of this cast, Leigh will certainly be nominated for and will likely win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. The whole ensemble is well balanced; everyone does what they need to, no one is over used or under used. The ensemble in “Hateful Eight” is second to only “Spotlight” as the strongest ensemble of the year.

A fascinating element of “Hateful Eight” is the music. The music for this film was composed by Ennio Morricone, who is best known for his iconic score for the classic Spaghetti Western “The Good the Bad and the Ugly.” What makes the music fascinating is that it does not sound like the music from “The Good the Bad and the Ugly” or any other traditional Western. The music sounds like something out of a horror film, and that is because Morricone’s score for this movie uses pieces of music that he had composed for John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” but was ultimately not used in the film. The great thing about the music was that right when the music starts you know that the movie is not going to be a traditional Western.

 

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