There’s never been any doubt that writer-director Quentin Tarantino loves talk and violence. Which is why it’s no surprise that his latest film, “The Hateful Eight,” is filled with talk and violence.

Unfortunately, he has decided to separate the two in equally long sections. The first 90 minutes of the film is almost all talk, much of it irritatingly repetitive. Then the film’s final section — with a 10-minute intermission the movie clocks in at over three hours — becomes a blood-spattered gunfest that’s far too close to Tarantino’s directorial debut, “Reservoir Dogs,” for comfort.

“The Hateful Eight” is a western, but it’s about the most closed-in western you’ll ever see. Most of the first part takes place is a stage coach, which contains a bounty hunter (Kurt Russell) who’s taking a prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to a town to be hung. Along the way he encounters, and gives a lift to, another bounty hunter (Samuel L. Jackson) and the town’s new sheriff (Walton Goggins).

They talk, and talk and talk, sharing all their colorful stories, occasionally trading insults and threats. But a blizzard is coming, so eventually they take refuge at a familiar trading post, where they find a cowboy (Michael Madsen), a hangman (Tim Roth), a retired general (Bruce Dern) and a Mexican caretaker (Demian Bichir).

Since this is Tarantino, pretty much nobody is who they say they are, tensions rise, foul deeds occur and heads get blown off. This is an impressive ensemble, and Tarantino has a true gift for dialogue and story twists, but in the end, all that talent seems to have been spent on pretty empty notions.

This is a film he’s made before, but he made it better the first time around.

‘The Hateful Eight’


Rated R for strong bloody violence, a scene of violent sexual content, language and some graphic nudity

Running time: 182 minutes

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