Is 3 hours of Tarantino dialogue a bad thing?
How can you not love Quentin Tarantino? One of Hollywood’s craziest directors, Tarantino has a knack for making some of the best films out there, including major hits like Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction, and Reservoir Dogs. But you already knew that. You want to know how The Hateful Eight was, right? Well, first off, I should mention I got to see this film in its native 70mm, and I must say that was awesome. This film has been out for about a month now, so most theaters have dropped the 70mm showing, but if you have the opportunity to see it in 70, DO IT. The format really does add to the overall experience, and leads to a very full, fun, and engaging experience. This is not a gimmick like 3D, and I hope to see more directors bring back this (now) ancient form of movie making.
As for the movie itself, it really comes down to if you like Tarantino dialogue or not. If you do, you’ll love this film. If you don’t and just want his characters to get on with it and kill each other, holy crap avoid this film like snake oil. Because that’s essentially what this film is. 187 minutes of dialogue with very little action in between. I love Tarentino dialogue, so I had no problem with this movie. However it definitely lowers the rewatchability factor as this film is basically a three hour whodunit tale. But the film features some great performances from its core 8 characters, including an AWESOME performance from Tim Roth as well as Samuel L. Jackson gleefully reminding us why he’s Samuel L. freaking Jackson. Kurt Russell also puts in his best performance in years which was nice to see.
In addition to the acting, the score and editing were awesome as well. Now this isn’t really all that surprising: after all editing is Tarantino's forte, but it was still refreshing to see a film try to be creative on this front and feature some creative and jarring cuts between scenes on top of a few jump-cuts. Really I have no qualms with this movie other than what it is at its core level: it is a film where Quentin Tarantino salutes himself. It is Quentin Tarantino paying homage to Quentin Tarantino. So if you don’t like his style of directing, this film will do absolutely nothing to change your mind. If anything it will make your beliefs even stronger. It’s really hard for me to really get behind 3 hours of dialogue, but the 70mm format really did help make the film engrossing and fun to watch on first viewing. I just don’t intend on watching it again anytime soon.
The Critique: Three hours of the best Tarantino dialogue imaginable. However let's not forget the part where this film is 3 hours of dialogue nonetheless.
The Recommendation: If you like Quentin Tarantino, you should definitely go see it on the largest screen possible. However if you don't Tarantino this movie will certainly not change your mind.
Rewatchability: Moderately Low
The Verdict: 7/10 Good.