After my “Force” experience, this movie rekindled my faith in storytelling and moviemaking. I will say right off, this movie is not for everyone. If blood and guts (and I mean lots of blood and guts), raw hatred and swearing are not your thing, this isn’t your movie. However, if you like character development and the clever telling of a situational story, you may want to consider “The Hateful Eight”.
Some folk say it is slow. There are one or two moments where an edit could pick it up, but not many. It is a long movie, and can feel long, but I believe that is the intent. The characters are trapped in a cabin waiting out a snowstorm that could take several days. The story is relayed largely through dialog, and dialog is a real-time thing. Tarantino fans may feel like the opening is slow. Unlike his usual want, he waits quite a while before he lets the bullets fly. However, they are wonderful moments of setting and character, told with a unique and satisfying style.
Most of the actors do amazing jobs. They are not people selected for roles they may fit. Instead, they build unique characters of language, tic, and movement. Samuel L. may be a bit of his usual blustery character, but it works. Michael Madsen does not stretch much, but that also works. Jennifer Jason Leigh takes a while to flesh her character, but it is a tough one to fill. She does not have many lines for the first three-quarters of the film, and has to rely on physical portrayal to expose a quirky character, but she gets in step quickly. Kurt Russell is wonderful in his role.
The cinematography is nice. I can pick a tiny bone with the key grip. The lighting, while artful, does not set the scene at times. That is to say, it is not realistic, nor overly expressive. It is clever, but not with clear purpose. However, few folk will notice.
The score is spot on. Ennio Morricone, “The Untouchables”, has an unmistakable style that works well with this picture. Again, I can pick two tiny bones with the sound editor – pieces that were chopped at the end, probably as intended effect, though the effect doesn’t work so well in one of the instances. Again, minor points few will notice.
The story is complete. There are no lapses of continuity, character, or circumstance. There are quite a few surprises.
Rated R for violence and language. Shot, and can been viewed in 70mm. No 3D version.
Well worth the ticket.