If you like classic Tarantino, go and watch The Hateful Eight.
It has everything you can expect from one of his films – blood, drama, tension. The script is clever and quick, and the acting is superb. Samuel L. Jackson has had a lot of roles that are lovable, but this one might be his best. As Major Marquis Warren, he has to deal with racism in a time just post-American Civil War, and it is his confidence and wit that the audience immediately warms to.
Most of the parts are likable in some way or at some point, but my favourite character was Oswaldo Mowbray, played by Tim Roth. He plays an eccentric, British hangman – just one of the many bizarre characters that Tarantino shoves in a haberdashery (near enough a shed) for the near entirety of the film. It soon turns into a murder mystery, and keeps you hooked.
What more could you want? Well… you could ask it to go a little quicker. The films main downside is the sheer length of the thing. 3h7m is a long time for any film, and although it can occasionally be forgiven, I found The Hateful Eight to be pushing it a touch. There were quite a few scenes were I thought “is this really necessary”? The fixation on the snow storm once they had reached the inn petered out into nothing – I get it, the weather’s bad, but did we really need enormous cuts of some characters falling over in the wind and snow? Not really. However, I sat and watched the whole thing, because it was a Tarantino film, and I knew it would come good. As the Guardian said: “Only Tarantino can do this.”
There has been some controversy over the film – basically over the way that Tarantino filmed it. He used a format called Ultra Panavision, last used in the 50s and 60s, and a technique that is more commonly used for wide shots of beautiful rangy landscapes. Well, why did he use that if it’s all in one room? He uses the wide shots to give incredible close ups of characters faces, very similar to an old Wild West film. Imagine the close up of Clint Eastwood squinting his eyes – that kinda shot. It’s a great throwback to a loved technique, but because of the print of the film, it means that some cinemas in the UK won’t screen it, so if you plan on going to Cineworld – don’t, they aren’t showing it (Poor Cam has an Unlimited card).
Why else should you go and see it? Well I touched very briefly on the tension. It is so greatly emphasised by the score, done by Ennio Morricone. This guy has been around for years but won his first Golden Globe for this score (which a very drunk Tarantino picked up for him – watch it online for some real cringeworthy viewing).
The film has gotten some mixed reviews online. Some people have said Tarantino has tried too hard and overreached, some have said it’s perfect. Regardless, it will go down as a classic Tarantino film, which I’m sure will be well remembered.
Check out the trailer:
Did you enjoy The Hateful Eight? Let us know in the comments or tweet @film_swot.
Author: Andrew Petrie