THE H8FUL EIGHT - 4 Stars
Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is a charming western, with surprising twists and turns. However, it doesn’t live up to the legendary director’s usual standards.
In a post civil war America a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive Daisy Domergue race towards the town of Red Rock where will bring Domergue to justice. They encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren, a former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix a southern renegade who is the town’s new Sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard they seek refuge at a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at they are greeted not by the proprietor but by unfamiliar faces. As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…
Tarantino’s violent, stylistic witty films are established in movie culture as some of the greatest ever – personally, he’s one of my favourite directors. This is why I was very much looking forward to this film. I certainly enjoyed it – it really is a fantastic movie. However, it felt like it was lacking something – a certain Tarantino quality, which is featured in his other films.
The cast were exceptional – Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell brilliantly shine as the leads. Jennifer Jason Leigh delivers an eerie, Oscar worthy performance and Tim Roth is unnerving in his role. What I very much enjoyed about this film is the rapport between the actors and the continuous tension – you always felt like you were waiting for something and then the tension is relieved when the moment explodes in the final chapter. The only cast member who let the film down was Channing Tatum, who’s performance was lacking the depth that everyone else brought to their roles.
The cinematography was beautiful and it would’ve been a superb experience to see the film in 70mm film (how it was originally shot). The script is clever and the film’s ending does present unpredictable surprises – unusual for modern cinema.
Overall it is a really, really well crafted, enjoyable, albeit graphic film with amazing music, performances, cinematography and direction. I don’t think it’s Tarantino’s best film – yet certainly not one to miss!
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Roadshow Entertainment