This movie is for Tarantino fans only, as it’s one of his lesser films. It has all the ‘Tarantino movie’ pre-requisites, such as intense and gratuitous violence, excessive length (nearly 3 hours), an excellent ensemble cast, an unusual story, intermittent dark humor, a few terrific scenes, too many scenes that don’t work, flash-backs, and beautiful cinematography. Tarantino won the Golden Globe award for Best Screenplay of 2015, but this was an absurd choice. It’s nowhere nearly as good as “Django Unchained,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Reservoir Dogs,” or “Kill Bill.”
The film takes place during the Wyoming winter, in the post-Civil-War era. Bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) is taking his prisoner, the notorious outlaw Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), by stage coach to Red Rock to be hanged. Due to a severe blizzard, they need to take refuge in a log cabin until the blizzard ends. Also on the stage coach are Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson) – who is now also a bounty hunter – and the supposed new Red Rock Sheriff, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins). At the cabin, however, are four others, including Confederate General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern) and another hangman, Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth). Are these log cabin guests who they claim to be, or are they at the cabin to try to free Daisy?
The vast majority of the film occurs in the cabin, but the cinematography (Robert Richardson) of the Wyoming countryside is spectacular. Quite frankly, I didn’t care if Daisy hanged or escaped. I wasn’t emotionally involved with any of the characters, so the film didn’t do much for me. It’s an average rental, (as long as you fast-forward the scenes that drag).