FILM REVIEW: The Hateful Eight

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN: Out in the UK 8/1/16

When a prisoner played by Jennifer Jason Leigh is punched in the face by her captor (Kurt Russell) early on here it seems to confirm the worst fears about director Quentin Tarantino: his films are too violent and potentially misogynistic.

The Hateful Eight is, however, arguably Tarantino’s best film since Pulp Fiction over 20 years ago. What it boasts, as well as the returns of Reservoir Dogs Tim Roth and Michael Madsen, is a story-telling device which wouldn’t be out of place in Pulp Fiction and a ridiculous final scene seemingly in homage to his film debut.

Tarantino’s eighth film seems less of a Western and more inspired by 70s TV show Bonanza. It tells the story of an post-American Civil War attempt to free criminal Daisy Domergue (Jason Leigh) from her bounty hunter (Russell), is predominantly set in one room (Minnie’s Haberdashery) and becomes whodunnit (or who’s-about-to-do-it) as we’re introduced to a cast of characters, including Pulp Fiction’s Samuel L Jackson, who could all be trying, either individually or in collusion, to spring the central character.

Misogynistic? If Jason Leigh wasn’t the best thing about this, it would be an easier argument to attempt.

Told in six chapters, The Hateful Eight works best when we go back in time midway through the story to see events which shed new light on all we have witnessed before.  Listen out also for Ennio Morricone’s fine soundtrack. For those not quite so in thrall to Tarantino it is still far too violent but no less stylish and accomplished storytelling – a return to form.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy The Hateful Eight. Trailer.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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