A brilliant mixture of mystery, humor and violence laced with one stunning surprise after another, Quentin Tarantino’s latest flick is intricately conceived.
Engaging and atmospheric in both the visuals and the soundtrack, “The Hateful Eight” follows several eclectic characters marooned in a house during a storm.
The film’s first couple of chapters introduces us to the characters, who include Major Marquis Warren, (Samuel Jackson), a bounty hunter who has a pile of corpses he intends to collect upon when he gets to the town of Red Rock. After a mishap with his horse, he hitches a ride with John Ruth, a bounty hunter chained to his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who is also heading into town to get his own reward for bringing Domergue to justice. Along the way, they encounter Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff. He’s also without a horse and in need of a ride to Red Rock. The blizzard causes Warren, Ruth, Domergue and Mannix to seek shelter at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. It’s there they meet four more unfamiliar faces. Bob the Mexican (Demian Bichir), who claims to be taking care of Minnie’s while she’s away, Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern).
As the storm worsens, chaos and claustrophobia ensues and the eight travelers who are all headed to the same town for varying reasons, learn they just may not make it to Red Rock after all.
The plot, the relentless suspense, Ennio Morricone’s fantastic score and the ensemble acting makes this film a winner. Watching the action unfold is intense for writer/director Tarantino has put together a well-conceived plot. He provides several scenes filled with live-wire acting, dramatic confrontations, startling action and surprising twists and the film moves along at just the right pace to keep the suspense tingling.
Each of the eight has an affable side and it’s fun to watch the actors play the part. Jackson, as Major Warren, an ex-cavalryman and ex-slave delivers some of the film’s best dialogues, although every one of the thesps does make a strong impression.
Most of the action takes place within the claustrophobic confines of Minnie’s Haberdashery. The twists and turns of the plot are an awful lot of fun, while the ending is genuinely satisfying and surprising.
It makes for an enjoyable three hours and is a film that stands up to repeat viewing.
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