The Hateful Eight | Indy Week

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Rated R · 167 min. · 2015

Western



The best things during the interminable three hours of Quentin Tarantino’s latest are the musical overture by the great Ennio Morricone and the 12-minute intermission, when you can flee without bothering the rest of the audience. Set in post-Civil War Wyoming, The Hateful Eight is an ensemble Western revolving around a gaggle of mercenaries and miscreants forced into close quarters while escaping a blizzard en route to the town of Red Rock. In all, 10 people take shelter in the stage stopover, including “the Mexican” (Demián Bichir), a taciturn cowpuncher (Michael Madsen) and the local hangman (Tim Roth). As their furtive motives and backstories are gradually revealed, the plot assumes the guise of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Christie’s novel was originally published in the United Kingdom, in 1939, under the title Ten Little Niggers, a pejorative Tarantino excessively deploys throughout The Hateful Eight. Though it was divisive, his frequent use of the racial slur in his early films felt organic in the vernacular of modern urban milieus. But he treats his Civil War-era settings, here and in Django Unchained, as license to gorge on the slur to a cartoonish, wearying degree. Despite a garrulous script, few sequences are memorable. The final chapters are a nihilistic fever dream, filled with projectile blood-barfing, splattered brains and a lynching. What’s missing is maturity and meaning; the characters are mere ciphers for Tarantino’s base indulgences.Still, Tarantino can still be a captivating, adroit filmmaker who is thrilling because of his visual dexterity and eye for detail. But his narrative predilections have become predictable, and his films are teetering on self-parody. Redemption can begin only if he jettisons his period revenge fantasies and returns to the wheelhouse of contemporary hyper-realities. Otherwise, Tarantino will soon feel as dated as his film stock.

Official Site: www.thehatefuleight.com
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Bruce Dern, Demian Bichir, Michael Madsen and Tim Roth

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