‘The Hateful Eight’ Review

Quentin Tarantino delivers yet another western thriller that sets the shock factor to new heights and leaves you wanting more of ‘The Hateful Eight.’

‘The Hateful Eight’ delivered a sense of shock and suspense.

If the current assembly line of blockbuster sequels and remakes tell us anything, it’s that nothing is better than the classics. And quite frankly, no one gets that concept better than Hollywood’s most lionized filmmaker: Quentin Tarantino.

The Hateful EIght
Photo courtesy of Steven Zang.

Tarantino’s creative input and romantic entanglement to films that “changed the game” find a middle ground of recognizable character archetypes in a rather unpredictable setting. He has been known to do such through his violent spasms of bloodbath cinema and his firecracker dialogue, knowing just when to light the right fuse. And in his eighth excursion onto the big screen, he gives his cult audience The Hateful Eight, a near-perfect blend of everything that defines a “Tarantino flick.”

The Hateful Eight, with a whopping running time of nearly three hours, presents itself in six mesmerizing chapters, working itself as a novel or a play rather than just a film. Each chapter develops into what essentially is a gathering of the Western genre’s eight most dynamic archetypes under the same roof, a stagecoach layover called Minnie’s Haberdashery. The titular “eight” in question are as follows:

  • John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell)
  • Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson)
  • Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh)
  • Sheriff Chris Mannix (Walter Hoggins)
  • Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth)
  • Joe Gage (Michael Madsen)
  • Bob “The Mexican” (Demián Bichir)
  • General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern)

Trapped in the Wyoming-based stopover about 10 years after the Civil War due to an ongoing blizzard, the eight are practically forced into each other’s company on their travels to the fictional town of Red Rock. Then, in a moment of definitive cinematic mystery, some of the characters are not who they say they are, bringing on what becomes the jaw-dropping twists and turns of Eight’s second act.

I thought it was really engaging and definitely one of Tarantino’s best films,” said Jenna Stuiso, a committed moviegoer and longtime fan of Tarantino’s work. “My mind was fully on the film the whole time that I was watching it and then still days later. On top of that, the story line and the acting were fantastic.”

Hence, The Hateful Eight brings something to the table that films nowadays lack. It takes the same repeated format and revamps it, adding a colorful originality that only Tarantino can concoct. The characters jump off the screen, thanks to rapid wordplay between the eight (another tip of the hat to the acclaimed director/writer). And, most importantly, this 19th century spin on a classic conundrum carries secrecy and deceit, with an “every man for himself” attitude to back it up.

In the end, the insecurity that the film works so diligently to muster up hits you more intensely and at a faster rate than any onscreen bullet being shed of its barrel. And you will most certainly be left picking up the remnants of your jaw within the closing credits. Why? Because it’s Quentin Tarantino, and the cathartic snafu that he creates on screen leaves you viscerally-satisfied, even eight times later.

The Hateful Eight is playing in and around Montclair. Some theaters include AMC Clifton Commons 16, AMC Loews Wayne 14 and even AMC Essex Green 9 in West Orange. For more show-times and a list of even more theaters, visit fandango.com today.

For the first time in over 40 years, this film will be presented in 70mm film, giving it an even more authentic appeal to the likes of other classic western releases, such as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and The Magnificent Seven. If you can make the trip, go to AMC Garden State 16 in Paramus for this once-in-a-lifetime experience of The Hateful Eight’s 70mm Roadshow. Films are and most likely will not be presented in this format ever again, and that’s what makes it so worthwhile. Additionally, the film is 20 minutes longer with a musical overture and 12-minute intermission. If that didn’t sell it for you, you can even go home with a collectible booklet for memory’s sake.

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