Quentin Tarantino’s latest film The Hateful Eight stars an ensemble cast of some of the best actors to have worked with Tarantino, Samuel L Jackson, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth to name a few, but is the star power alone enough to sell this movie?
In short, No, not when compared to some of Quentin’s other films. Whilst the film did more-than double its modest budget of $44 million, Tarantino’s last two films 2009’s inglorious basterds and 2012’s Django Unchained both managed well over $300 million at the box office. So why did the film not hit the heights of Tarantino’s previous two masterpieces? I suppose the simple answer would be that the film came out at a similar time as Star Wars: The Force Awakens which managed to dominate the box and shatter several box office records. So should the box office failures of The Hateful Eight be blamed entirely on this? Perhaps they should. The film’s reviews can’t have helped either though. Not only were Tarantino’s most recent films commercially successful, but they were also very well received critically. The Hateful Eight however, failed to live up to the standards set by Tarantino’s best films.
So in spite of all I have said about the Hateful Eight, should you watch it? The Film is certainly not without its flaws. mainly the 3 hours of your life it takes up, quite a lot of that time is taken up by either boring or pointless scenes. Almost feeling like every scene and every plot point is stretched out unnecessarily. However does this take anything away from the film? No, you won’t realise that the film is 3 hours long, not unless you keep checking your watch. There’s enough humour and action in the film to distract you from some of the monotonous scenes. In fact I’d consider the Hateful Eight to be Tarantino’s funniest film. The humour is played out a lot too, it is central to the film. However, when you put it with what is clearly an homage to classic Westerns, it creates a rather disjointed affair. And the slow editing mixed with the distant cinematography can be hard to digest. The amazing and captivating Ennio Morricone score is sure to keep your attention.
Possibly the greatest reason to see the film is the story itself. Not to give anything away, but after the slow build up the story starts to unravel. And as you quickly begin to put the pieces together another twist is thrown at you to screw up your theory all over again. The characters in the Hateful Eight are easily some of the most compelling characters to ever appear in a Tarantino film. Every character is played out in a brilliant manner and will have you considering them all in many different ways throughout the film. The acting in the film is all top notch, especially Samuel L Jackson, who puts in possibly his greatest performance since Pulp Fiction, if not his greatest performance ever.
Overall, it would be easier to not take into account Tarantino’s previous efforts and to look at how the Hateful Eight stands on its own. It’s funny, interesting, beautiful and most importantly it’s entertaining as hell. Sure, it’s no masterpiece but it is still a great film by all accounts. It’s on the fringes of critical acclaim, but it’s undeniably better than many other generic action films released monthly to rake in at the box office. And whilst it was not the commercial success that many will have expected, it still did well considering its modest budget and the box office competition at the time of release. In short, the Hateful Eight is almost sure to gain a cult following in the years to come
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