THE Hateful Eight is one mammoth, ambitious film.
I doubt anyone other than its creator and director Quentin Tarantino could pull it off.
Filmed in the near-extinct Ultra Panavision 70mm film in the cold mountains of Telluride, Colorado, The Hateful Eight is long enough (nearly three hours) to have chapters and an overture by Golden Globe-winning composer Ennio Morricone.
The character-driven "winter western", follows bounty hunter John "the Hangman" Ruth on his journey to deliver criminal Daisy Domergue to justice in the Wyoming town of Red Rock.
A blizzard forces him, and the two additional passengers he reluctantly picks up in his stage coach, to stop at Minnie's Haberdashery, where a collection of dubious characters are holed up to wait out the storm.
More than half of the film is dialogue-driven as the characters are introduced and expanded upon, but the film never feels like it's dragging its feet.
I certainly didn't feel like I'd been sitting in the cinema for three hours.
The lengthy set-up pays off big-time as things begin to rapidly unravel and Tarantino makes up for all the talk with a lot of shooting, bleeding and suffering.
It's the type of film that is a completely different experience the second time you see it, as you're able to read into all the clues and nuances you missed the first time.
The ensemble cast delivers knock-out performances, sometimes literally, and Samuel L Jackson has a particularly jaw-dropping monologue you won't soon forget.
As its name suggests, The Hateful Eight is nihilistic but there's just enough humour in there to keep it from being bleak.
There's an odd, twisted sort of justice to it that defies the usual hero/villain movie tropes.
The Hateful Eight is a tense, bloody, beautiful film that uses its R rating to full effect.
The Hateful Eight
Stars: Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Verdict: 4/5 stars