The Hateful Eight

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The Hateful Eight

Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is full of the things he does best: sudden violence, self-satisfied dialogue, powerhouse performances and a lot of the n-word. Maybe a little too full: at over three hours for a film about a bunch of extremely distrustful people stuck together (first in a stagecoach, then an isolated cabin) during a blizzard in the American West post-Civil War, Tarantino’s love of his characters and dialogue often shades into self-indulgence. As does the story-telling, which flips from tense character set-up to extreme gore in such a sudden fashion the transition may shock some film-goers right out of the film entirely.

It’s not that the ingredients are bad – even average Tarantino dialogue is still loads of fun – and the performances (most notably from Kurt Russell, Samuel L Jackson and Walton Goggins) are compellingly larger than life. Tarantino even has something vaguely political to say about race in America, though it’s perhaps not all that well thought-through. But for a whodunit that slides into bloody mayhem, it’s 90 minutes of material spread a little too thin. It’s safe to say nobody but Tarantino could have made this film: it remains a unique experience, if one that only hard core fans would want to revisit.

Reviewed by Anthony Morris