Quentin Tarantino can be very polarizing with his work as a film director. Some fans (myself included) go crazy for the video clerk turned Hollywood director with his manic dialogue and over-the-top images of violence. Although there are some who don’t get Tarantino’s style and it’s very understandable. His type of film-making is not for everyone and a mixed reaction will surely follow Tarantino’s eighth film The Hateful Eight. A mystery set in post-Civil War Wyoming with a star-studded cast of former Tarantino favorites including Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen and Tim Roth.

The Hateful Eight has an old school vibe during its three-hour plus running time with a viewing experience long forgotten by Hollywood. The film starts with a musical overture, has a twelve-minute intermission and was shot on 70mm to give the audience the Super Cinemascope look of the past. Even though it’s 2015, Tarantino wants you to feel as if you’re in one of the grand old movie houses watching Murder on the Orient Express unfold. The change-up gives the audience an experience they are unaccustomed to which some may consider a fun trip through time. Others may be left confused when the film starts with music and goes to black half way through the movie, especially if they don’t know what to expect.

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Tarantino gives the audience a throwback event on-screen with all his usual film-making habits still present. The quick-witted foul-mouthed banter runs rampant through his script allowing his cast to shine spouting the verbal assault Tarantino has penned to paper. The two players that benefit the most from the master of dialogue are Walter Goggins and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Goggins plays the narrow-minded Mannix, the soon to be sheriff of Red Rock (so he says) who’s a total goof that still hopes the South will one day rise again. He’s ignorant, but hilarious and great on-screen interacting with all the diverse cast members, and in my opinion manages to outperform them.

Jennifer Jason Leigh plays the Daisy Domergue, the lady with a bounty on her head that “The Hangman” John Ruth (Kurt Russell) plans to collect on. Don’t let the pretty name fool you, Daisy is foul both verbally and physically. No one plays crazy like Jennifer Jason Leigh and she was made to play this Frontier villain. The first half she’s mostly making racist remarks, but she gets your full attention after the intermission. It’s no surprise Oscar buzz has circled the veteran actress for her work in The Hateful Eight. She’s just as hardcore as her male counterparts, which is saying something considering this shady bunch of killers, cons and bounty hunters.

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With that being said, there’s an unoriginal feeling one gets about The Hateful Eight after viewing it that prevents the film from being great. The assumption seems crazy considering Tarantino is known for giving a fresh spin on the genres he grew up loving, but the director manages to rip off his own style from past films. The dirty language is present (All Tarantino films), flashbacks (Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction) are used as story telling tool, Chapters (Kill Bill), the old west setting (Django Unchained) and of course the Tarantino bloody standoff made famous by Reservoir Dogs.

Nothing seems fresh in The Hateful Eight with all these recycled scenes and themes. The Hateful Eight is by no means a bad piece of work with its gorgeous cinematography, well-crafted screenplay and throwback viewing experience. The film just comes across as a hodge-podge of the director’s previous films almost meant to be a demo for what to expect when watching a Tarantino film. The Hateful Eight is entertaining, but does nothing to separate itself as the eighth film in Tarantino’s library and plays more like a “best of” episode that shows the tendencies of the eccentric director.

Overall, I give The Hateful Eight the rating on the low-end of 3 out of 4 stars.

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