The Hateful Eight, review: ‘Tarantino by the numbers’

09:54 15 January 2016

The Hateful Eight. Picture: The Weinstein Company

The Hateful Eight. Picture: The Weinstein Company


Quentin Tarantino’s latest is packed full of entertainment and tension – the only problem is that we’ve seen it all before, writes Michael Joyce.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Walton Goggins, Demien Bichir and Bruce Dern
Film Length: 168 mins. Roadshow version 187 mins

For his eighth film Tarantino has re-hashed the themes of his tight and concise debut Reservoir Dogs – a group of desperate villains and ne’erdowells trapped together in a situation where nobody or nothing is quite what it seems – and spread them across the sprawling epic running length of all his other films.

Then to hype it up that bit more, he is pushing audiences towards seeing it in an exclusive roadshow version that means the film is shown in 70mm, has an overture before it starts (giving the proper respect to a marvellous, mostly, original score by the maestro Ennio Morricone), a 12 minute intermission and costs a fortune.

The Hateful Eight has funny dialogue, tension, invention, great performances, twists and reversal. It is packed full of entertainment: it just isn’t packed full with three hours and seven minutes worth of entertainment.

This tale of eight hateful wild west types all holed up by a blizzard in post civil war Wyoming may look like new ground being covered but it all feels mighty familiar. The same old Tarantino regulars and a few new faces delivering that distinctive QT dialogue, enacting the same well worn narrative sleights of hand and rejiggings of chronology, indulging the usual fetish for having people say “kneegar.” I enjoyed watching Hateful Eight but as soon as it had finished began to feel that it hadn’t really been worth the time or expense. It’s all tricks that you’ve seen before in Tarantino films, and seen placed in closer and more potent proximity to each other.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

Yesterday, 17:39

I ride a bicycle. I also walk, take the bus, occasionally drive, ride a motorcycle, or use the Tube

Yesterday, 15:00

Up to 100 free superfast Wi-Fi terminals could be coming to Camden in a London first as BT looks to revolutionise its phone boxes.

Yesterday, 13:00

Once a central London backwater and closely guarded secret by those in the know, Marylebone and it’s fashionable high street has recently become popular with billionaires and celebrities such as Tom Ford and Damien Hirst.

Yesterday, 12:00

Hampstead Theatre chiefs have paid tribute to a director of “huge skill” following his death at the age of 71.

Yesterday, 12:00

Ryan Sellers feels his return to Wingate & Finchley increases his long-term prospects of a Football League comeback – because he is enjoying the game again.

Yesterday, 11:44

Despite its resurgence in popularity in recent years, property in Marylebone remains relatively good value compared to other central London areas (and it’s all relative).

Yesterday, 11:01

The organiser of Belsize Christmas lights has issued a last-ditch appeal for funds to cover the final costs for this year’s decorations.

Yesterday, 11:00

In the latest of a series of features casting the spotlight on local football fans, Hendon chairman Simon Lawrence reveals his favourite players, his most memorable matches, his funniest moment with the Greens and the biggest challenge facing the club.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera


Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now