The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, opens with a stagecoach making its way through a snowy landscape, trying to outrun a blizzard that is closing in on them. Inside of it sits bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). When they get flagged down by a mysterious man who asks if they have room for one more, Ruth is skeptical because… well, Domergue is worth a lot of money and the mystery man turns out to be Major Marquis Warren, a former Union soldier turned bounty hunter (played by Samuel L Jackson). A bit further down the road they run into yet another stranger called Chris Mannix, a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new sheriff. They all continue their trip together and wind up at a stagecoach stop called Minnie’s Haberdashery. Waiting for them inside are Bob “the Mexican” (Demian Bichar), Oswaldo Mobrey (Tim Roth), Joe Gage (Michael Madsen) and former Civil War General Sandford Smithers (Bruce Dern). Together they are… you got it, The Hateful Eight.
That is a mighty long first paragraph there. Then again, it’s for a mighty long movie so I guess that makes sense. But hey, if anyone can hold our attention for three hours, then it’s Quentin Tarantino, right? Even if pretty much the entire film takes place in one room, things never get boring (remember Reservoir Dogs?) because Tarantino always manages to round up an excellent cast and writes dialogues that have no equal. That’s no different this time around.
Russell is excellent as the über-cool bounty hunter (I’m not saying he never blinks in this movie, but if he does I missed it), Jackson is slick and suave as always, Leigh is almost unrecognizable and the best way to describe the others in the room is quiet and brooding. The dialogue crackles like the fire that keeps the place warm and lines are being shot back and forth, until they are replaced by actual bullets in the movie’s final act. And yes, it becomes bloody. Very bloody. It’s a Tarantino movie. What did you expect?
When the script leaked to the public back in 2014, Tarantino was so pissed he swore he wasn’t even going to bother making it anymore. Luckily he changed his mind. The Hateful Eight might not be Tarantino’s best movie, but it still would have been a damn shame if we never got to see it.