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

Archant

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

09:00
Alan Titchmarsh, who is spearheading the Butterfly Conservation's Plant Pots for Pollinators campaign. PA Photo/Butterfly Conservation

In his Hampshire garden, green-fingered guru Alan Titchmarsh has swathes of butterfly and bee-friendly plants – from buddleia and verbena to catmint, cosmos and coneflower.

Yesterday, 20:11
Middlesex's Dawid Malan

Dawid Malan celebrated his first game as Middlesex’s T20 skipper with a classy knock of 93 as his side hammered Hampshire by 69 runs.

Yesterday, 17:00
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in THE NICE GUYS. Picture: Daniel McFadden

Shane Black has had his ups and downs in Hollywood – going from a million dollar screenwriter (Lethal Weapon) in the ‘80s to being largely ignored in the ‘90s.

Yesterday, 12:58
Nurul Islam celebrates at his Belsize Park kiosk with customers and Ham&High reporter Emily Banks, right.       Picture: Polly Hancock

The vendor who runs the Belsize Park newspaper kiosk today thanked his customers for pressuring Camden Council into doing a u-turn over the rent hike which threatened his business.

Yesterday, 12:00
Ava Potter as Lilly in Michael Morpurgo's Running Wild. Picture: Johan Persson

Reuniting a Michael Morpurgo story with ex-War Horse puppeteers– in the glade-like Regent’s Park theatre - sounded an enticing prospect for a children’s show.

Yesterday, 11:17
Gabriella with mum Nazanin on her first birthday

A distraught father whose daughter faces her second birthday detained in Iran without her parents has urged children around the world to send her a birthday card.

Yesterday, 10:56
Victor in Delhi

A ‘smart and popular’ 22-year-old who died in a motorbike crash has been remembered at his former school.

Yesterday, 09:00
Interiors themed wedding gifts any couple would love

Looking to buy a wedding gift that’s not on the list? Here are 17 chic buys that are guaranteed to make any couple supremely happy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe