This isn’t just Independence Day without Will Smith, which would be bad enough. It’s Independence Day without the humor, wit, suspense and entertainment; a sequel so lackluster it feels more like a TV knockoff than a sequel. Most of the main characters are back, but the nostalgia is wasted. Rain, the token Asian, is cute, but the new people are just cardboard cutouts.
The plot, which introduces an ally alien sphere, is surprisingly stupid. Even worse is the dialogue, which goes from just being flat to laughably awkward as it wedges in quick-cut plot points. “Can you believe it,” a hospital worker says to a patient who appears to be sleeping, “You’ve been in a coma for 7300 days.” One more day and he could’ve slept thru this cinematic disaster.
my rating = 2 of 5
If not for Inglourious Basterds, his masterpiece, I’d say Quentin Tarantino hasn’t wowed me, in a good way, since Jackie Brown. The Hateful Eight, like Django before it, is more epic in scale than substance. There are memorable quotes; the “goddamn Mexican” bit is hilarious; but they’re too far and few between to justify the script’s grandiose verbosity. Nearly every member of The Hateful Eight is a stone-cold killer, but they’re apt to talk you to death. That should be a positive. Tarantino has long had a knack for punchy dialogue. But he seems to be losing it.
The problem of the characters only sometimes saying interesting things to one another is compounded by the fact that they’re snowed-in at the mercy of a blizzard for most of the plot, which circles around a prisoner named Daisy Domergue; the one woman and most despicable of the bunch. The haven is a lodge named Minnie’s Haberdashery and, though this virtual stage play runs for nearly three hours, the suspense and bloodshed doesn’t begin until about the halfway point. Ironically enough considering the fact that a tighter edit could make the film better in half the time.
my rating = 3 of 5
“I think this just might be my masterpiece,” a character says to another just before the ending credits begin. It’s an obvious wink from director Quentin Tarantino. Inglourious Basterds is his best movie yet, even better than Jackie Brown and Reservoir Dogs, and he seems to know it. There’s no “might” about it. It’s a masterpiece. It’s also one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.
The story takes place during WW2 as Nazis, led by Hitler, seize control of France, killing Jews along the way. Their opposition? A small troop of Jewish soldiers whose primary goal is to kill Nazis and off their scalps for souvenirs. It’s a brutal battle with clever crossplots; scenes simmer with suspence until someone’s killed once their cover is blown; thrown in for narrative measure.
my rating = 5 of 5