Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexual content.
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Written By: Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman
It was not my intention to do this in front of you. For that I’m sorry. But you can take my word for it, your mother had it comin’. When you grow up, if you still feel raw about it, I’ll be waiting. -The Bride
Tarantino returns after nearly six years of absence with a revenge film about a woman scorned by her former lover, and brutally beaten and shot on her wedding day. Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn, and The Bride is no simple woman. She is an assassin who wakes after four years in a coma and discovers her husband-to-be is dead along with her unborn child. She has been raped and abused by a nurse at the hospital and begins her list of revenge after finishing him off. Before she gets to Bill, her ultimate goal, she must also make the rest who took part in her attack suffer as well. She makes her list and begins her methodical conquest.
In it’s essence Kill Bill Volume 1 is an ambitious homage to old school kung-fu revenge flick’s. The dark humour of Tarantino and the unification of pop culture with blood soaked battles on a grandiose scale of style makes it very much so it’s own fresh addition to a genre long since forgotten. Volume 1 never stops to take a breath. It’s a pure adrenaline rush that’s speed increases with each passing scene. Stylized to the point of magnificence, it’s an event to behold.
The genius of splitting the chapters of the story allowed Vol. 1 and 2 to be very distinct films. In Vol. 1 the viewer is given an explanation for The Brides killing spree, but the details of how she got to that point are vague, along with her past. The first volume focuses entirely on her rage and revenge which makes for a more action oriented movie than it’s second part, which goes deeper into the motivations and heart of our character’s.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the story was actually the soundtrack. With an old west and even at moments pop and rock and roll mix, gory kung-fu battles that satirized themselves was a strange yet very complimentary combination. Because of the distinct appeal of the music, it implemented the entire theme and visuals on a much larger and textured scale.
For a story that says very little, the inventive brutality of the fight scenes and real exploitation of a raw and hardened killer is Tarantino at his best. His unique ability to display cold hardened killers in a way that is almost declarative rather than explanatory is one his greatest talents. The genius in the way they are depicted is done in a way no other filmmaker has ever really captured. Kill Bill may be his best example of it. It is sublime satisfaction to take in one of his films that are geared toward his own influences, but also acknowledges his loyal fan base with inside jokes and references to his previous films.
- Uma Thurman as The Bride
- David Carradine as Bill
- Lucy Liu as O’Ren Ishii
- Michael Madsen as Budd
- Darryl Hannah as Elle Driver
- Vivica A. Fox as Vernita Green
- Julie Dreyfus as Sofie Fatale
- Sonny Chiba as Hattori Hanzo
- Chiaki Kuryiyama as Gogo Yubari
There is no question that Uma’s performance was with the exception of Mia Wallace, the greatest of her career. Her creative input into The Bride and her raw and twisted delivery was stoic, powerful, and tangible. While the outside shows her character being driven by one particular motivator and force it’s obvious by Uma’s depiction that there is much more pain and heartache behind her glistening eyes. She captures the essence of a true warrior and the heart of one too. The scenes between herself and Sonny Chiba are some of my favorite in movie history. The rest of the cast was chosen with perfection and each played their roles as though they had been written especially for them, but Sonny Chiba as Hattori Hanzo, while small, had the most depth to it. The history of his life, which was only vaguely alluded to, his reaction to the name of Bill, and the manner in which it was all performed and stylized gave us viewers a moment of real movie magic. Tarantino must be unimaginably proud of those scenes.
Ratings And Suggestions
If you don’t like Tarantino movies you aren’t going to like this. If you don’t like violence and gore………well then you just don’t like Quentin Tarantino. Kill Bill Vol. 1 is for a select audience and will fall into the category of love or hate, and probably very few in between, but for the kind of audience these kind of movies have appeal to, it’s one in a million. I have no qualms about waiting years in between Tarantino’s projects, because when they arrive us movie goers are given the rare enjoyment of seeing a movie that will linger with you forever. Kill Bill Volume 1 was pure genius. Four out of Four Kung-Fu Stars.