Review No. 524
I am woman, watch me “Kill Bill”.
NOTE: THIS IS A DOUBLE-REVIEW (MY VERY FIRST), REGARDING BOTH VOLUMES OF QUENTIN TARANTINO’S “KILL BILL”.
WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY QUENTIN TARANTINO. PRODUCED BY LAWRENCE BENDER. STARRING UMA THURMAN (BEATRIX “THE BRIDE” KIDDO AKA BLACK MAMBA), DAVID CARRADINE (BILL AKA SNAKE CHARMER), LUCY LIU (O-REN ISHII AKA COTTONMOUTH), VIVICA A. FOX (VERNITA GREEN AKA COPPERHEAD), MICHAEL MADSEN (BUDD AKA SIDEWINDER), DARYL HANNAH (ELLE DRIVER AKA CALIFORNIA MOUNTAIN STATE), GORDON LIU (V1 – JOHNNY MO; V2 – PAI MEI). BOTH VOLUMES DISTRIBUTED BY MIRAMAX FILMS: VOL. 1 DISTRIBUTED ON OCTOBER 10, 2003; VOL. 2 DISTRIBUTED ON APRIL 16, 2004. VOL. 1 PRODUCED IN ENGLISH, JAPANESE, AND FRENCH BY THE UNTED STATES. VOL. 2 PRODUCED IN ENGLISH, CANTONESE, MANDARIN, AND SPANISH BY THE UNITED STATES. RUNS 4 HOURS, 7 MNUTES. VOL. 1 RUNS 1 HOUR, 51 MINUTES. VOL. 2 RUNS 2 HOURS, 16 MINUTES. NOT FOR CHILDREN, DUE TO GORE, GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, PROFANITY, SEXUAL ABUSE, DRUG CONTENT, AND SEXUAL SITUATIONS.
KILL BILL WAS WATCHED ON JULY 13, 2013.
“Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down.”
–“Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” by Nancy Sinatra
This review discounted, I have reviewed four of Quentin Tarantino’s films. If you’re the guy who sits back and wonders why you haven’t seen a single one of those titles, I’d recommend starting the oeuvre soon with Kill Bill. The movie was released in two separate “volumes,” and it all clocks in at over four hours. Just try and fathom that a movie so long, with a plot so thin, could be so fiercely engaging.
I guess it’s rather generous to say the plot is “thin.” The first five seconds says it all–an intertitle bearing the phrase, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” The plot concerns a woman known as “The Bride” (Uma Thurman) and her attempts to hunt down Bill (David Carradine), her former boss who left her for dead, with the assistance of his equally sadistic colleagues. She has an advantage, as she has merely sprung out of a coma in reaction to a mosquito bite, but it’s not an advantage she can keep all too easily.
It’s as simple as plots get, but the movie puts a style-over-substance forbearance to great use. Forget Uma Thurman’s outstanding performance, and forget the dialogue, though, of course, there’s a good amount of it in Tarantino’s screenplay. Here’s a movie that treats ADHD filmmaking (minus the “AD”) as a religion, randomly, albeit awesomely, driving back and forth between each and every style put to celluloid. Italian horror, Japanese anime, spaghetti western, Mexican game show esque camera zooms, low-budget MTV attire. You name it, it’s homaged here; it’s the sort of audacious filmmaking that must be seen to be believed. And then you have the special touch of Tarantino–or one of the special touches–where you’re dying to go back again.
Postscript: Every Tarantino film grabs you back for a second serving (or convinces you that you will go for seconds at one point or another), but I actually need to return to Kill Bill. I was so excited to get back into the movie world after back surgery, that I made the mistake of watching both volumes just a day or two after the operation. Damn painkillers made me forget almost everything about the movie, except for little details, such as that it flew by and that I loved it. (Just a side note that isn’t of importance, but I thought I’d put it out there anyway.)