I was looking forward to Tarantino’s latest, until I actually saw it. I always thought that the writer/director has some kind of self-destructing wish and this one brings it all home to me. I am usually pissed when a writer builds up a character and makes the reader empathize and even fall in love with him/her, only to kill them off towards the end of the story. In Tarantino’s previous movies it seemed to work though I was not very happy when Christopher Waltz’s character got shot in Django Unchained or Travolta’s got drilled in Pulp Fiction, but somehow those movies seemed to work for me quite well. This time I don’t get it. All the characters are mean and nasty and still you want them to survive somehow even though they all deserve to die. Chances are that the world has become a better place in the aftermath of their demise. Perhaps culling the human race of its rotten apples was the main role of the Wild West.
The character are as expected portrayed fabulously by a crew of Tarantino regulars that include Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Kurt Russell. Jennifer Jason Leigh, a new face in Tarantino’s arsenal, is of course superb just as I expected. As I said earlier, I kept trying to figure out a way in which at least some of them survived and I really wanted to be surprised, but it did not happen. So, I can’t say that I enjoyed this movie too much, even though as I said, the acting, directing and filmography were excellent. There is too much vitriol, ugliness and hatred for my taste. I cannot quite understand the movie’s reason for being.
I read another review somewhere that claims that The Hateful Eight’s reason for being is its cinematography. The movie was filmed in 70mm Ultra Panavision and according to some this is a spectacular format that makes a movie filmed in that format a special and very spectacular event. I actually saw it on a 1000 mm TV screen, so all of that was quite lost on me. The 70 mm projectors are quite expensive and not many theaters are showing the movie as originally intended. Though the concept is intriguing and I admit that I would love to watch more movies on 70mm screens, this is not one of them. I couldn’t sit through it for a second time and for that reason I’ll have to pass.