In association with
Review published
October 10, 2003
A.J.'s Rating:  5 'Q' Stars
Kill Bill - vol. 1
Directed By:  Quentin Tarantino
Written By:  Quentin Tarantino
Starring:  Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox,
Michael Madsen, Michael Parks, Sonny Chiba, Chiaki Kuriyama, Julie Dreyfus,
Chia Hui Liu, Jun Kunimura, Kazuki Kitamura, Akaji Maro

MPAA:  Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexual content.
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    Okay, this is it.  The long-awaited fourth film by Quentin Tarantino.  A couple years back, Quent was asked what this project would be about.  He wouldn't give any details, but did say that his fans were really going to like it.  He was right.  However, though his millions of fans will surely love this movie, it was really meant for only one.  Kill Bill was made to please Tarantino's biggest fan, the ultimate film geek... himself.  If the rest of his fans also happen to enjoy it, well, that's just a bonus.  And to those fans who lamented the lack of action in Jackie Brown... you want action?  You've got it!
    Put simply, Kill Bill is a trip through the brilliantly twisted mind of a film fanatic and former movie rental clerk.  Put even more simply, Kill Bill is a B-movie gone ballistic!  Imagine young Tarantino spending hours upon hours watching every 1960's and 1970's cult action flick in the place, wondering, "Wouldn't it be cool if...?"  Finally, he has the clout to show the world that, yes, it would be cool... very cool.

    It helps that Tarantino seems to have been given free reign as far as creative control is concerned.  What's that?  You're going to let Quentin Tarantino do whatever he wants?  Why, that's like letting a hyperactive little kid loose in a candy store, then giving him money for the Coke machine outside as well!  Anyway, left to his own devices, Tarantino makes the three-plus hour, ultra-violent, genre-jumbling, blood-splattering, sword-slashing, kung-
fu-fighting, movie-referencing, in-joking,over-the-top-no-holds-barred-go-for-broke-
balls-to-the-wall action extravaganza that is Kill Bill.  No problem.  We'll slice it in two.  Seems appropriate, considering the subject matter! 
    Kill Bill - vol. 1 is, indeed, awesome.  Here are my five favorite moments:
     1)  The introduction of Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishi.  Includes a fantastically unexpected,
           and entirely successful genre switch!  Plus, as a crime-boss, O-Ren Ishi makes Al
           Capone look like a damn sissy.
     2)  Battle at the House of Leaves.  An incredible fight sequence that plays like Tarantino
           whispering to the Wachowski brothers, "Here's how it's done for real, boys."
     3)  The battle in black & white.  Never mind its artistic merits.  This short switch during
           the above action sequence was a pre-emptive strike toward the MPAA for all that
           blood spurting everywhere, not to mention all those flying body parts.
     4)  The Bride and Hattori Hanzo.  The Bride gets a weapon, and the audience gets a
           few less-violent moments.  Shades of Kurosawa's lighter side.
     5)  The Bride vs. Vernita Green.  Who says nothing ever happens in the suburbs?
    But you probably want to know what this movie is actually about!  How could I have been so thoughtless?  Well, it's about two hours long.  In it, Uma Thurman goes around killing people, all in the name of revenge.  The one she especially wants to kill, of course, is Bill, but she's saving him for last.  Oh, and Kill Bill - vol. 1 has a cliffhanger ending, to conclude in 2004 with Kill Bill - vol. 2.  In the second Kill Bill, Uma probably goes around killing even more people.  Wow!  I can't wait to see that!

Click here for answers to A.J.'s KILL BILL - VOL. 1 Trivia Contest!