Please take into consideration the fact that the word hate might be too strong, but for the lack of a better reason, I really like it for the post title.
For a while, I was actually a bit hesitant to post about Quentin Tarantino’s latest cinematic experience. His eight movie, cleverly titled as The Hateful Eight, is a western that has elements of Tarantino’s earlier works but mostly it just falls short to be one of his better ones.
The hesitation to discuss The Hateful Eight is probably the worst kind of feeling a film blogger could have. I’m a fan of Tarantino, yes, I’m willing to state that as a fact but it’s sad that right after watching The Hateful Eight, I had no intention to write a review. It crushed me, the movie made me tired and overwhelmed, it lacked, for me, strength in terms of telling the story and everything it tried to do visually, or symbolically, was simply buried under weak storytelling.
Now, these words will most likely get me into some trouble, because there are many Tarantino fans out there who loved the movie. I know, I’ve talked to some of them, and I’ve already gotten weird looks of disapproval in regards to my thoughts towards The Hateful Eight. But I must be honest, and if honesty will get me in a bit of trouble, so be it.
The Hateful Eight without a doubt will be a movie that will become a legacy for Tarantino on its own right. For the generation, who grew up with Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, Tarantino’s latest movie will bring joy and recognition, no matter what. But part of my disappointment towards The Hateful Eight, is its lack of individuality among Tarantino’s other movies. For somebody to see this as their first Tarantino movie, I have little faith for them to love it as much as one would love Pulp Fiction. Yes, The Hateful Eight is different, a bold storytelling attempt that has heads being blown off and blood, but it doesn’t have that something special that stands out among Tarantino’s earlier works.
For a filmmaker to depend so much on his own work is an honor really, to have your own style of storytelling, for it to be so recognizable you know it from the first moments. But in a way, it will sometimes overwhelm one’s judgment. I think that The Hateful Eight became that type of movie. It became Tarantino’s for Tarantino fans and that is great and that is amazing that a filmmaker can do that! On the other hand, it’s disappointing because times change, movies change and those teenagers, who are just now finding their way into the cinema, might not understand The Hateful Eight the way it deserves to be understood.
With such a great cast, who all work their ass off to deliver a story filled with villains, The Hateful Eight does have some great moments. I was surprised to realize that one of those moments was Channing Tatum – an amazingly cast part in many ways. Tim Roth shined as well, just like he always does, without even really trying that hard. And Walton Goggins brazenly stole the show from Samuel L. Jackson. The characters had spunk, so different and so alike, with moments of great banter between everyone just as it has always been with Tarantino’s dialog.
And let’s face it, visually, The Hateful Eight looked interesting! The set looked authentic, the vibe felt real and everything about the blood was as amazing as it always is. Still, as the title of this post boldly states, I left the cinema with hateful thoughts. For me, the movie dragged, it was 30 minutes too long, and it translated statically on screen. While I appreciated its nod to Reservoir Dogs by being set in a single cabin, the tension wasn’t constantly present and sometimes the monologues and dialogs interrupted the flow of the action. Yes, there were brilliant elements of storytelling, the broken door for instance, but Tarantino can do better! He has done better, and I’m sure he will do so in the future. But The Hateful Eight for me, simply, was disappointing.
Maybe I was expecting something different, maybe I was missing the point, maybe feminism kicked in to defend the main female character in the movie, maybe I’m falsely calling myself a Tarantino fan… Whatever the reason, I think The Hateful Eight is a movie that either you hate, or you love, and I happened to pull the short straw.