Monday, January 4, 2016

Movie Review: The Hateful Eight

There is a certain cadence to Quentin Tarantino movies.  Either you like it or you don’t.  For the most part, I’ve always, at the very least, enjoyed his movies, enjoyed the stories he’s trying to tell.  In many instances, the stories can be overshadowed by gore, though somehow the story still shines through.  While his casts are always eclectic (usually male-drive save for Kill Bill), he still manages a wonderful cross-section of talent that, together, makes the movie jump to life.  I’m not sure I can say that about this movie, however.

The movie is heavy in dialogue.  Many of the early scenes are actors going toe-to-toe with heady conversations, saying more than is being said through the enormous expense of words.  The movie weighs in at a solid three hours and I felt every single one of them.  While it wasn’t putting me to sleep, and I wasn’t as engaged as I could have been, the story still churned along like the little engine that could.  Samuel L Jackson is always a screen-stealer, and he did so with reckless abandon.  At times, I often believe Tarantino wants Jackson to always be over the top, but I would love to see him be a little more subdued.  It might have kept the mystery churning a little longer.  Jackson’s character is basically the same character he played in Pulp Fiction.  As the movie progressed, I couldn’t help but see this with all of his tried and true friends.

The flaw of the Tarantino film is also the strength.  The cast are well acquainted, the director easily understood, that much seems to be missed because perhaps they believe it to be there already.  There were many instances in the three hours where less would have been more.  The undue length of the movie could have made the story better if it had been an hour shorter.  Mr. Tarantino seems to film scenes and movies just for the sake of hearing his words spoken by others, but not necessarily needing those words to further the plot along in a discernable way.  This felt like a sharp contrast to Kill Bill, which seemed to have a brevity of dialogue, letting the actions speak for the characters.  I would never willfully dissuade someone from seeing a Tarantino movie, but this one could be missed with no ramifications.


  1. I agree with your review. An entertaining movie at times, but too damn long.

    1. thanks for the comment! I'm really starting to second-guess some of these directors that just make movies not to tell a story, but just because they can, you know?