“The Hateful Eight” showcases the cinematography and production of a veteran director well. What the film lacks is the drive of more recent Tarantino successes like “Django: Unchained” or “Inglourious Basterds”. It seems more like a spinoff of “Django” because of the time period and story, rather than a distinct entry in its own right.
The problem is that the first few acts should have been condensed to spare a longer runtime, which would then bring out the better acts which take place in the second half. What keeps this excess from ruining the film is Samuel L. Jackson and the top notch cast put together. The film is limited in the variety of setting, and is less complex than might be expected from Tarantino, but it’s the cast interactions that make up for it.
The script was made for Sam Jackson to deliver his best, and without him, there wouldn’t be enough gravitas to sustain much momentum. Each of the other cast member’s best moments come from their interaction with him. That makes for a fun and interesting movie, but it doesn’t reach the greatness and diversity that Tarantino has shown in his past several films.
Well made as a movie overall, but lacking the core elements which make a great Tarantino piece, “The Hateful Eight” is enjoyable with its’ emphasis on simplicity and focus, but not the classic film fans were hoping for.