This is a stereotypical Quentin Tarantino film and if you love his movies, you’re going to love this. Similarly, if you love Django Unchained, you’re going to love The Hateful Eight as it’s similar in ways.
Shot in the Ultra Panavision 70 format – which was last properly used in the Fifties and Sixties – it uses the archaic cameras to capture the long, magnificent opening scene. The cinematographer, Robert Richardson deserves an award for his work during this film; the cinematography is superb during the first chapter. Same goes to the composer, Ennio Morricone who’s score during the entire film is a piece of art. He captures the western theme perfectly.
The three hour and seven minute film is divided into chapters which adds a brilliant touch to separate the different parts of the story. There is also a nice narrative by the director himself, where Tarantino does a voiceover to describe a party of the story; maybe it wasn’t needed but it added a nice touch.
The all star cast is Samuel L Jackson as Major Marquis Warren, Kurt Russell as John Ruth, Jennifer Jason Leigh as the black-eyed Daisy Domergue, Tim Roth as the very British Oswaldo Mobray, Michael Madson as the stereotypical cowboy, Joe Gage, Walton Goggins as the soon-to-be Sheriff of Red Rock, Sheriff Chris Mannix, Bruce Dern as General Sanford Smithers and Demián Bichir as Bob.
The problem with such a long film is that you have to make sure that every moment is captivating otherwise you’re going to lose your audience and they’re going to get bored. There were only very few of these moments where time seemed to go very slow but for the rest of the two and three quarter hours, it was suspenseful and crazy.
On their way, fellow bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren stumbles across the carriage where he asks Ruth if he can ride with them so he can also escort his dead to Red Rock. The three of them plus O.B also come across Chris Mannix and reluctantly let him ride with them.
45 minutes later and they come to Minnie’s Haberdashery where they meet the other 5 men.
The plot unfolds as a whodunnit and Cluedo type of film where gore and expletives are thrown in for the fun of it and the casual expression of n**** is typical in a Tarantino film but the racism almost becomes the subplot of the film.
The rest of the movie is set in the Haberdashery and feels like a theatre production with the one room settings and pushing in a group of people who don’t know each other together. Basically a recipe for disaster.
Tarantino pulls it off and this is a brilliant film; even though it’s slow at times and more gore was expected, it was a breathtaking piece of work.