Tarantino is the dialogue master. Whether you love him or hate him there’s no denying his proficiency with the spoken word. And The Hateful Eight is yet another example of his supreme skill. The lines crack sizzle and pop out of the actor’s mouths. Tarantino has talked of his desire to turn this into a stage play and I can see why. The majority of the action takes place in one location and the dialogue is so good you could sit there listening for hours.
The story is pretty simple, so it’s a credit to Tarantino that he keeps you engaged for nearly three hours: Two bounty hunters in post-civil war America become stranded in a snow-storm and seek shelter in Minnie’s Haberdashery. With a prisoner in tow they must wait out the blizzard whilst sharing their refuge with an eclectic mix of capricious characters.
And what a cast Tarantino has assembled. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern and Samuel L. Jackson all excel but Walton Goggins truly stands out as the Sheriff, Chris Mannix. Praise must go to all the actors for making themselves so likeable when they are all essentially evil individuals.
Tarantino’s trademark humour is present in every scene. This is a darkly comic whodunnit that flies by in a whirlwind of fizzing dialogue, tense exchanges and cartoon-like violence. With a newly composed score by the western master Ennio Morricone and beautifully filmed in the mountains of Colorado, Tarantino’s eighth film is tense, funny and made for repeat viewings. The Hateful Eight finds a director at the top of his craft. Perhaps his tenth and final film will be his ultimate masterpiece. We wait with baited breath…
The Hateful Eight is a rip-roaring blood-soaked exercise in how to build tension. Just go and have fun. I know I did.
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