The Hateful Eight (2015)

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Quentin Tarantino directs Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and Walton Goggins in this cabin set mystery where strangers waiting out a blizzard eye each other up for potential threats. 

A new QT movie’s biggest hurdle to leap will always be the mountain of expectation, and I hate to admit it, but like Jackie Brown and Inglorious Basterds, my initial cinema trip to this left me a mite disappointed. A chamber piece, essentially an Agatha Christie novel in bearskin and coon cap, at first run through it all seems like a reduction of what Quent can easily bring to the big screen. A year’s gap, and forearmed with more knowledge as to where some of the more pigheaded narrative choices are eventually headed (many of the repetitions are more frustrating than rewarding, the pace is purposefully way, way off) and I enjoyed The Hateful Eight for what it is; a brilliant cast blasting out a fruity script in colourful Western grab. You get second wind Samuel L Jackson front and centre at long last for a movie entire, satisfying bits from Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tim Roth too. But it is Goggins who walks off with the film as the Aw Shucks, enthusiastic Good Ole Boy, one step behind the plotters and players, and therefore audibly as excited as we are with each revelation. So it’s not Pulp Fiction with six shooters… it is a fine and captivating diversion.

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