Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Hateful Eight - Review

A John Wayne-esque bounty hunter (Kurt Russell) is transporting a $10,000 worthy criminal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to the small Wyoming town of Red Rock to be hanged. A severe blizzard and several intruding tagalongs slow down his private stagecoach ride and when they all try to take shelter at a known stop along the trail, more mysterious players come into play. A new film by bloody auteur Quentin Tarantino will always be a big show for critics and the public but regretfully THE HATEFUL EIGHT is too big to stomach in just one sitting, which may prove fatal for general viewers. The first half is way too theatrical, with all of the actors being too showy and the dialogue taking up too much time and energy. It also doesn't help that the suspense factor is really low until a dark monologue springs forth right before intermission, which means you have to sit through a hour and change of endless pulpy talk and suspicions that don't really matter. The second half, however, is where things start getting really good, where the limited fingers on triggers create tension, the grotesque humor is ramped up to extreme levels, and the very nature of the main mystery is turned inside out, especially when a certain new intruder comes into the picture so to speak. All of the actors are perfectly fine, from the minor one-scene wonders to the heavy hitters, but it's Leigh and Walton Goggins who steal the limelight. Leigh is one-part comedian, another-part chaotic demon as she grinds everyone's gears with her bratty hillbilly antics and expertly plays off the immense abuse and buckets of sick that flow from her or on her. Goggins, on the other hand, gets to weasel up as a Southern rebel boy who may or may not be a sheriff-to-be until drastic matters makes him a goofy yet ambiguous danger. Ennio Morricone's music, both his original score and the few past works featured on the sidelines, is beautifully rich and quite often takes the attention away from Robert Richardson's cinematography, which is saying something considering the expansive framework and incredible depth he brings to the table. THE HATEFUL EIGHT may not have been the true grand finale of the 2015 movie season as I wished it to be but it is a movie that deserves to be re-watched and grow with age, similar to Tarantino's own JACKIE BROWN.


No comments:

Post a Comment