The Good, The Bad & The Specious Headcount: The Hateful Eight (2015)

tag_lineTaglineThe bounty hunter. The Hangman. The Confederate. The Sheriff. The Mexican. The little man. The cow puncher. The prisoner.

Year: 2015          Runtime: 187 mins

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

StarringSamuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, James Parks, Channing Tatum


The Good:

(The More the Better The Good)

Harvey (4) 4 Harvey Keitels (out of five) for Some Bitch Talk Shit.

Talking shit. What Tarantino does best. At 3 hours 7 minutes, all basically in one room, there’s nothing but time to talk. Some of it’s funny. Some of it’s serious. Some of it waxing philosophical. Though the waxing philosophical didn’t have the punch of Bill’s Superman speech in Kill Bill Vol. 2, for the most part the dialogue generally keep things moving along nicely.

Dick (3) 3 Tricky Dicks (out of five) for Dirty Double Crossing Back Stabbin’ Ornery Cusses.

No good sons o’ bitches. Trigger happy. Angry. Again, what Tarantino does best.

Kurt Russell’s John “The Hangman” Ruth is probably the best of the hateful eight. The mustache alone was epic, but Russell’s got the swagger to carry off the legendary bounty hunter. You just know he savors every minute of watching his bounties hang for the evil they’ve committed.

Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is one nasty, foul mouthed bitch, and a very close second to The Hangman. Between her literally jacked up mouth and the equally jacked up shit that comes out of it, within 15 minutes of meeting her you’re ready to join The Hangman in watching her hang from the neck until dead.

Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) should be more impressive, he’s given a ton of screen time, but eh… As far as character’s go he was borderline Gary Stu. He can definitely handle his business, but I just couldn’t quite buy into him. Some of his stories come off as a lot of hot air, and his big bad-ass speech completely falls apart (more later on that).

The rest of the eight where decoration. They helped paint the scene and add to the mystery.

The Bad:

(The More the Badder the Bad)

Fife (5) 5 Barney Fifes (out of five) for Limp Dick Dialogue

While I know this might seem contradictory having talked up the dialogue earlier, there’s one case where the dialogue is just shit. Sadly, it comes in Samuel L. “Mother Fuckin’” Jackson’s bad-ass monologue. And it is pretty bad-ass, except he actually uses the word “dingus” in reference to his dick.

Several times.


Really? Samuel “Mother Fuckin’” Jackson, goading a man with a story about the man’s son sucking his dick, calls his dick his “dingus?” Samuel L. “Mother Fuckin’” Jackson?


& The Specious Headcount:

I love the internal rhyme of the title, The Hateful Eight. I even dig the letter/number substitution in some of the art work: H8ful Eight (see the featured image). But the number doesn’t quite add up once you’ve seen the movie. Yes, I readily admit that Tarantino does set down the eight of The Hateful Eight in the trailer (see above), and the tagline (see abover). That’s all good and fine, but it’s incredibly dismissive of the other characters in the movie.

Now, wait a minute, them other characters aren’t significant to the plot the way the titular eight are. If that were the case I would completely agree and not bother mentioning this, but—and there’s always a but— there is at least one additional character who is ABSOLUTELY as hateful as the eight. I would argue there’s two, but there’s one that can’t be left out, which would mean this is the “hateful nine.” That doesn’t have as nice a ring now, does it?

I’m being deliberately coy here because I want to avoid spoiling who this person is and how she/he is part of the story for those who have yet to see the film. But once you see it you’ll understand exactly who I’m talking about.

I bring this up because Tarantino’s a great writer. He could have written it such that this discord not be an issue at all, even as a nit-pick. It’s unfortunate, especially considering there are only two more movies left. Don’t start phoning it in now. Go out like your characters, with a bang.

All things considered, this movie gets:

Menace (3) 3 Mesmerizing Menace (out of five)

It was a’ight. While it did have the elements that make a Tarantino film “a Tarantino film,” it is essentially a western version of Reservoir Dogs. And as much as I love watching Tarantino’s bad guys talking shit and blowing holes in one another, 3 hours is a LONG damned time. Even if it does mostly flow well. Mostly.

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