Reel Reviews: A hateful three hours

Taylor and Howe say, The Hateful Eight may be the worst Tarantino movie yet.

  • Jan. 10, 2016 12:00 p.m.
Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson

Bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) is taking notorious criminal Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to hang in Red Rock, Wyoming when he finds Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) needing a ride.

The three share a stage coach through a blizzard until they can find shelter at Minnie’s Haberdashery.

At Minnie’s, they meet more characters who seem to have intentions of their own: The elderly confederate general Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), Red Rock’s hangman Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the new sheriff in town Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) and Bob (Demian Bichir), who claims to be looking after the place while Minnie’s away.

We ask, “Is this the worst Tarantino movie?”

TAYLOR: I was looking forward to this. I like westerns. I have liked Quentin Tarantino’s films. I like especially long films with slow shots of nothing. However, I didn’t really get what I was expecting. I got the worst Tarantino movie ever.

The film starts strong with beautiful shots of snowy Montana and then proceeds to become a stage play.

First, they talk for about 40 minutes in a stage coach and then they talk for about two hours in the cabin. The remaining 27 minutes are action, usually someone shooting someone else.

It was the most boring, pointless and stupid film of the year. Definitely proof that Tarantino needs to do try something different with his films.

HOWE: I was going to disagree with you that this is the worst Tarantino movie ever made, then I looked at the list of eight movies he has done and I think you are right. It’s not that it’s a bad movie, I do like all the dialogue in his films. It’s just that this is the same Tarantino movie. He uses the same actors in very similar roles to what they have played before, using nearly the very same plot points.

TAYLOR: People don’t talk like Tarantino writes them, unless they’re in a Tarantino movie. It was a novelty in 1994, now it’s proof that QT is a one trick pony.

The greatest thing he could do at this point would be to make a lighthearted romantic comedy or a kids film, just to prove that he’s talented and not himself just a perverted child.

The Hateful Eight is full of non-likeable characters doing stupid things for pointless reasons in unpleasant ways. It is full of Tarantino plot devices we’ve seen in his other films, up to and including not caring about, even insulting his audience.

At the end, one is left wondering if he didn’t set out to make a bad movie. At any rate, this film is certainly a write-off and so too may be Tarantino.

HOWE: Some of the things I have noticed in his movies are an increase in the amount of swearing, racist remarks and how far can he push the types of ways to kill someone (I’m not going to include the Kill Bill films in this because they are blood baths). It feels like he wants to shock us, but nowadays it’s ten a penny in films. I agree, 23 years ago it was different, something new. Nowadays, it’s old hat.

– Taylor gives The Hateful Eight 1 bullet out of 5.

– Howe gives it 2.5 hitch hikers out of 5.

Reel Reviews with Brian Taylor and Peter Howe appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.