Opening with a montage of beautiful Wyoming landscapes, we quickly cut to a shot of Jesus on a cross, the camera panning back to the sounds of a terrifically foreboding Ennio Morricone score and with that a land of lawlessness with no redeeming figure.
Quentin Tarantino's weird and sometimes wonderful Western has everything that catagorises his body of work - the good, the bad and the ugly. It's mostly good, occasionally great, but there's also the same recurring problem that plagues many of his films - length!
On the plus side, there are individual scenes that only Tarantino can create with his eye for cinematic vigour, clever worplay and expert pacing. Samuel L Jackson is brilliant as always and commands his scenes with typical menace, humour and charisma. They are clearly the most enjoyable scenes and showcase just how well paced and suspenseful Tarantino's direction can be. He seems to know exactly where to put his camera and his keen visual eye and masterful editing play out beautifully.
Problems occur when Tarantino over indulges with extended scenes that don't need to be as long as they are. It takes around 35 minutes for the story to reach Minnie's Haberdashary and then another hour until the inevitable splashy violence takes first hand over substance.
Like Inglorious Bastards and Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight is a very good three hour film that could have been a brilliant two hour film.