Film Review: The Hateful Eight

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Category: Western

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Tarantino's latest with some of my favorite movie pals. While it's a great film, I wouldn't say it's one of his best. It is, however, his most confident and his most talky film. Yes, all his films are filled with an insane amount of dialogue, but this easily takes the cake as it's really better suited as a theater play since 90% of the film takes place inside a cabin and the mystery of who these men really are begins to slowly unfold. In fact, Tarantino is indeed turning this into a play. It honestly feels more like an Agatha Christie mystery that just happens to be set in the old west, during a blizzard, with some clever, witty, and oftentimes hilarious dialogue that keeps things fresh and entertaining 100% of the time.

The violence, of what little there is (for a Tarantino film at least), is brutal and badass, and exactly what you've come to expect from QT's films. On a visual level, Tarantino continues to grow, and Hateful Eight is easily his most visually stunning film to date. It's just a shame that most of the best visuals come from the terrain and snow-covered scenery, which only really happens in the first half hour of the film. But, the 70mm Panavision format is strikingly gorgeous, and combined with Ennio Morrricone's stunning score, gives the film a grande look and feel that you just don't see anymore. Unfortunately this 70mm format doesn't work quite as effectively in the rest of the film that takes place inside the claustrophobia of the cabin. It still looks great though, with each shot carefully and meticulously planned, choreographed and executed.

Overall it's a great film experience. Stunning visuals, great score, superb casting (which he also excels at), and a strong narrative that drives the film forward with enough witty and clever dialogue that never comes off as boring or dull. Just be prepared to sit for 3 hours. In terms of script power, I'd put this ahead of Inglorious Bastards, but not better than the Kill Bill's and even True Romance. But that's just me.

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