The Hateful Eight (2016) directed by Quentin Tarintino . Rated R.
Shortly after the end of the U.S Civil War two bounty hunters, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and John Ruth (Kurt Russell) chance to meet along an isolated and snow-covered stage coach line on their way to Red Rock, Wyoming to turn in their bounties. Warren’s are dead. Ruth likes to take his alive. They pick up a third person who claims to be the newly appointed sheriff of Red Rock, Chris Mannix (Walton Coggins), though there is reason to doubt this man is telling the truth.
As a blizzard quickly approaches, the three men, their driver O.B. Jackson (James Parks) and Ruth’s captive, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) find refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach lodge. Inside, three others; Oswaldo Mobray, Joe Gage, and General Sanford “Sandy” Smithers have also found respite from the storm. However, the owners of the haberdashery, Minnie and her husband Sweet Dave, are nowhere to be seen and they’ve left a Mexican man, who goes by the name of Bob, in charge until they return from visiting Minnie’s mother.
The close quarters and hot tempers of those who fought on opposing sides during the War soon starts to wedge itself between parties along with things not quite seeming to fit into place when it comes to the whereabouts of Minnie and Dave and quickly escalates into an every man (and woman) for himself situation.
When I realized this film clocks in at 167 minutes long, I was a bit wary, but those minutes flew by. The slow, but not lethargic, build-up of the tensions between the characters was not in the least bit cumbersome. It gave one time to consider all that was going on, take it all in, remember what was said by whom and you’re going to need that if you have any hopes of figuring out what’s what and who’s who in this semi-murder mystery Western.
There are plenty of backstories and alibis to consider and plenty of gun shooting, blood squirting, brain matter spraying, and yes, in all that some great one-liners and humor, to keep a person amused for the duration. We walked away feeling quite satisfied in what we’d just seen and heard. The language was authentic without being overly profane. I really have no use for the F-bomb being dropped by every character in every other sentence and Tarintino kept that all down to a very reasonable and believable level even amongst a group of eight people who clearly hate each other.
I’d give it 5 stars except I think Tarintino could have cut back slightly on some of the scene lengths without undermining anything in the plot depth or action scenes.
4 out of 5 stars.