Too little action in lengthy film “The Hateful Eight”


Courtesy the Weinstein Company

Samuel L. Jackson’s character in “The Hateful Eight” made the film’s lengthy run-time worth it.

Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” caused quite the buzz after its trailer was released. With all the promised action of “Django Unchained” and the excitement of a violent Western, this looked like a promising New Year’s Eve movie. Whether or not it delivered that entertainment is dependent on what part of the movie you’re discussing.

Set after the Civil War in a powerful Wyoming blizzard, the story follows bounty hunter John Ruth “The Hangman” (Kurt Russel) and his prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) as they find shelter in a cabin full of mysterious characters.

Or rather, that is what the movie is advertised as. For the vast majority of the movie, there is little focus on the bounty hunter and his prisoner. Instead, the first two hours of the movie are spent getting to the cabin and once at the cabin, Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Major Marquis Warren telling crude stories and making everyone angry.

To say the first two hours were boring and rather confusing would be an understatement. It didn’t help that the story jumped back and forth between timelines and a narrator voiced by Tarantino made an appearance at random and inconvenient times. I am still left wondering why a narrator was even necessary when it only spoke during the middle of the movie.

Putting aside the first two hours, the rest of the movie certainly picked up pace when a plot twist occurs, putting everyone on edge. From that point on, all the blood and violence promised in the trailer finally makes an appearance.

At the center of this chaos is none other than Major Marquis Warren, who instantly becomes the main character. Samuel L. Jackson’s character shines for the rest of the movie. The humor and thought process he has almost makes the audience forget the first two hours even happened. When he finds an ally in Sheriff Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a racist who for the most part of the movie hated Major Warren, the entertainment factor in the movie skyrockets. Their dynamic is played out until the very end of the movie, leaving a lasting impression on the audience.

While the other characters in the movie were interesting, they just didn’t have the charisma of Samuel L. Jackson’s character. Daisy Domergue had the potential to really add to the plot, but for the most part her character was overlooked and crazy for reasons that never came to surface. Channing Tantum, whose appearance in the movie surprised just about everyone in the theater, also had a character who for the most part vamped up the storyline, but his appearance was for such a short time that it felt like he was underused.

In general, the movie had a lot of potential, potential that just was not acted upon. If it were not for Samuel L. Jackson’s character, the movie would not have been worth its 187 minutes. Even then at the end, I could not help but wonder if the length worth it as I exited the theater, shaking my head over the ending.

Movie: “The Hateful Hate”

Release Date: Dec. 31, 2015

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Rating: 3/5 stars