Quentin Tarantino continues to thrive where violence, racism and character development are key to story telling. “The Hateful Eight” is a western that attempts to bring a sense of mystery into a story driven primarily by dialogue and the characters present on screen. It’s a lengthy film that makes zero apologies for moving at a more relaxed tempo. If long movies are key to you feeling like your money was well spent, it’s well spent on this movie.
Overall, the characters in this story were engaging and for different reasons entirely. It is always good story telling to have 2 or more people on screen and they each depict unique personalities, driven by individual needs/circumstances. The story might require characters to share a common interest, temporarily, as this film does, but eventually those unique backgrounds drive the characters forward. The story develops nicely and by the end of the film it’s clear that this film shares the concept of Greek Tragedy over Comedy.
There was one character in particular I wasn’t clear on. The actor is listed in the opening sequence which implies he is important but he doesn’t appear until the 3rd act of the film. It’s at this point he also proves to serve as a plot device more than an actual character and he clears up some of the questions that were in my mind as I watched the film. So, it’s unclear whether this individual character was actually a character for the story or a MacGuffin.
The run time on this film was excessive in my opinion. Delivering the finale at 167 minutes (almost 3 hours) the film could’ve been 30 to 45 minutes less and I would’ve enjoyed it more. I don’t need to see characters walking back and forth on screen to drop things off if it does nothing to help move the plot along or develop characters. There was a great deal of screen time spent on things that could have easily been cut to make the speed of the film more entertaining.
“The Hateful Eight” is in theaters now! I give this film 3 out of 6 bullets required for a cowboy six shooter. If you enjoy Tarantino films you might appreciate this latest addition to his filmography. I’m not sold on recommending a theater viewing for this film but certainly a Redbox pick up wouldn’t hurt. The characters are rich and developed but the story is time consuming.
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