The Hateful Eight has had a bumpy ride to cinema screens in the UK with three key cinema chains, Cineworld, Picturehouse and Curzon cinemas, not showing the movie after a dispute over the screening of the movie in London West End Cinemas, removing the movie from 800 screens across the UK. As The Hateful Eight was filmed specifically for 70mm film screening there was also significant trouble for cinemas globally wanting to show the movie in this way. Some cinemas have been dusting off the fifty year old temperamental projectors to be used by projectionists without experience in such an analogue screening method, sometimes resulting in problematic screenings.
A cross between Reservoir Dogs and Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight is a whopping 187 minutes of drama, action and violence. Opening to beautiful snow-filled scenes complimented by a very gothic, hair-raising tune, we see a horse and cart come to a screeching halt. As the camera turns to show what bought them to a stop we see Major Marquis Warren, played by Samuel L. Jackson, sat atop three bodies in the middle of the snow covered track road. Following some negotiation Marquis joins John Ruth, played by Kurt Russell, and his prisoner, Daisy Domergue, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, in this horse and cart on route to Red Rock.
Due to a snow storm, the three travellers (and Sheriff Chris Mannix, played by Walton Goggins, who they picked up on the way) stumble into a half-way point named Minnie's Haberdashery, a log cabin style location well known to Marquis, but very different to how he remembers it. They join four strangers already sheltering in the Minnie's Haberdashery.
The movie is divided into six narrative sequences, all of which take place chronologically, apart from chapter five, which takes place before the others. This does set a rather uncommon structure to the movie, which I think adds to its unique nature, but also builds some of the story. It allows for moments to “pause” and take stock of what’s going on, plus adds information that broadens the storyline with narration by Quentin Tarantino.
The Hateful Eight is a real Quentin Tarantino classic with a very much unexpected twist within the movie; however does drag along in some places and often becomes unnecessarily slow. The cinematography is impressive and some of the shots are truly beautiful.
All in all, this interesting and dramatic western movie was visually satisfying and well worth a watch, but, doesn’t have the viewing power to bring me back to see it again.