In this his eighth film, Quentin Tarantino spins an inventive yarn about double-dealing during post-Civil War time. The Hateful Eight runs at a whopping 187 minutes with a blizzard backdrop, that becomes a device used to create a kind of Clue-like story full of characters ranging from cow-punchers to bounty hunters. They sip coffee, and shoot the breeze until they decide that it’s time to start offing one another.
The film assembles many who’ve worked with Tarantino such as Samuel Jackson, Tim Roth and Kurt Russell, which might initially turn viewers off because there’s a feeling we’ve been here before with a motley crew that spew racial and sexist epithets, and execute the absurdity that have made his films memorable. Yet, what sets The Hateful Eight apart from earlier Tarantino flicks is that it packs a punch that’s noticeably different. Where Django Unchained was over the top in its spaghetti Western viewpoint on the Deep South, or Jackie Brown gave nod to the goofiness of Blaxploitation, The Hateful Eight opens a door into Tarantino’s take on the bowels of misogyny and racism – with a provocative narrative that is less satirical and more realistic.
Tarantino has been frequently noted as being a master in the use of blistering graphic violence and humorous aesthetics that offer a distinctive perspective on cinematic realism. The Hateful Eight capitalizes on engaging audiences with the element of unforgiving surprises and moves away from clichéd formulas that have befallen movies in recent years. The film could be called Tarantino’s crowning achievement. Even if some disagree with that statement, one thing is certain – by the time The Hateful Eight finishes, audiences will indeed remember this elaborate unwrapping of the deep seeded problems that continue to fester in society.