A bounty hunter (Kurt Russell) travels Wyoming mountain territory by stage chained to a valuable and deadly quarry (Jennifer Jason Leigh) he treats as a virtual punching bag. Along the way to Red Rocks where his target awaits hanging, he hesitantly picks up a fellow head hunter (Samuel L. Jackson) and an ex-Confederate (Walton Goggins) and a blizzard forces the group to hole up for the night at a remote outpost where one or all of its visitors (Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Demian Bechir) may be in on an ambush. After spending a career addressing high expectations and criticism simply by crafting excellent, particular, stylish, violent, and outlandish films, Quentin Tarantino finally hits a major stumbling block with The Hateful Eight, completely playing into the critics’ hands with a self-important pretentious, trashy, violent for violence’s sake, stupid, and uninspired, schlocked out quasi-Western that feels like a gross imitation of his own work (this would have been a good one for Eli Roth to direct). The cast, which has some strong points in support (particularly Goggins and Dern), is marred by an utterly lost Russell playing a lead, Jennifer Jason Leigh as a seriously confused character, and Jackson is employed again to do the same old tired thing he usually does in these movies which is to yell and intimidate. The Hateful Eight is a major disappointment that sees Tarantino losing control (if you listen closely you can actually hear him drooling over the script and reciting the words) and seems like something made in the wake of Reservoir Dogs, instead of progressing into the great filmmaker that he is.
0 stars out of ****