The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight is Tarantino's eighth film and he wants everyone to know about it - it's labelled so on all of the promotional material, as well as the opening credits for fucks sake. Production and distribution was not an easy journey by any means - the scripts were leaked and Taratino was so seething he almost cancelled the whole thing, that conflict with the police over his Black Lives Matter comments, and disputes over 70mm film print leading to three leading UK cinema chains not picking up the film at all.

The Hateful Eight opens with a stunning sequence of the Rocky Mountains, where it was filmed, teamed with an equally insane score. Split into chapters, the mystery narrative echoes Agatha Christie's Ten Little Soldiers, a who-dunnit set in one place over a short stretch of time, aiming to question the human morality. Set in Wyoming several years after the Civil War, it follows two veteran bounty hunters caught in a blizzard (played by Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson, who are, as expected, ace) a pricey bounty awaiting hanging, and the strange characters they encounter on their way to the town of Red Rock.

It is almost three hours long. I said this about Straight Outta Compton and I'll say it again - film's should only ever be epic length when it is justified by the narrative. The Hateful Eight is largely set in a fucking shed, following seven angrily macho men sparring with one another and one women stuck in the middle of it all. Two hours build up to the climax of the drama (i.e. lots of shooting, fisty cuffs and 'blood') which, when it finally arrives, is more 'oh' than it is 'oh!'. It is bitterly anticlimactic, predictable and, for Tarantino's standards, dull. It could've, and should've, spared us all the trouble and been edited to at least half the running time, because there is simply not enough going on just warrant almost three hours. At twice the length of the average feature film, The Hateful Eight had a lot to live up to - but this is no average feature film, because this is a Tarantino feature film.

Tarantino has garnered such an obsessive and defensive fan base because of his witty script writing and dark humour, but The Hateful Eight contains nothing new to add to his already controversial reputation. The jokes are cheap and sleazy, Jackson's character detailing his bounty giving him oral sex is particularly schoolboy mentality. It's the same language in the same context, and once again is basically a film about Samuel L. Jackson being black. There is nothing original about race divisions and tensions in his films, see Django Unchained with Jamie Foxx as the lead as just one example. People get so pissed off with Tarantino because of his comic stance and totally bizarre perception of modern and historical racial divisions - yet his films are some of the most hotly anticipated of their time, because he's Tarantino, and there's only one Tarantino.

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