Kill Bill Vol.1 review by The Grim Ringler

By now everyone that wanted to see the movie has probably seen the bloody thing. And everyone that wanted to know about the bloody thing has read more than their fair share, well, tough! This is sure to be perhaps the most controversial and argued about film of the year. The geeks will love it and proclaim it Genius. The Naysayers will proclaim this yet another lump of self-serving coal crapped out by a wannabe. The fact that the film has been so well reviewed will just serve to make the naysayers hate it all the more. Eh, screw em, they never have fun at the movies anyway. What I can and will say is that this is perhaps the fullest, most orgasmic movie-nerd experience to roll off the blocks. Coupled with the brilliant trailers for Return of the King and Matrix Revolutions, Kill Bill has nerd-fest written all over it. And throw in the fact that its a modern day midnight movie homage to the chop-sockey flicks most people grew up watching on late-night t.v., and this becomes more than just a film, more than just an homage, this becomes a dream come true. The big question weve all had though was does he really pull it off? And perhaps how the hell are they gonna chop one movie into two parts? Ah, friends, herein lies the rub

As most of you may already know, Kill Bill follows The Bride (Uma Thurman who gives off a very animalistic sexiness in a role youd never have seen her in but which she nails) on her quest for revenge on the assassins she used to work with and that attempted to kill her on her wedding day. While they didnt succeed in killing The Bride, they did manage to kill the bridal party, and, so we are lead to believe, her unborn child. Waking up from a coma four years after the wedding day (and having been used as a love doll by an orderly and his pals), the The Bride is bent on revenge, wanting to take the only thing her ex-co-workers have, their lives. The quest begins with a trip to a legendary sword maker who she convinces to create a new blade for her and then her quest begins in earnest, working her way through a list that ends with the mysterious Bill of the title. On her quest The Bride fights to the death in a suburban house and a restaurant overflowing with masked assassins, but she is a woman possessed, and the only way she will stop is if she is killed or finishes her mission. The film ends after the battle in the restaurant and ends on a wonderful cliffhanger, which leaves us wondering if the child The Bride was pregnant with really did die in the slaughter on her wedding day.

Kill Bill is probably the most violent American movie we will ever see grace a movie screen. Sure, sure, you can go to your midnight showings of Evil Dead and the like, but nothing this big has been this gory, and god bless Tarantino for it. I had read that limbs are lost, that blood sprays out in fountains, and for about half the film, well, it doesnt. But when the movie hits the half-way mark all bets are off and the red stuff is applied liberally. Sadly, I am not the best person to review this as I never really got into the marital arts movie crazy, as a kid or as an adult, so a lot of the film references (other than the more obvious, such as her jumpsuit being from Game of Death) he uses were lost on me, but that didnt stop me from enjoying the film. It is, above all else, a revenge film, and as such, its brilliant. A lot of people will rant and rave that theres no plot but really, as thin as the plot is, its there, its just such an old-fashioned plot that were not used to it. Were used to loads of red herrings and all kinds of falderal because people are afraid of giving us what we want. This is a revenge film, pure and simple, and as such, its brilliant. The Bride becomes a very striking automaton during the lengthy battles she faces in Volume 1, dispatching each assassin with the same grace and beauty, and never reveling in the bloodshed. The highlights of the film though are her battles with the first two DiVAS (as the assassins should be known if you figure their acronym out), as the fights are staged beautifully and are both filled with wonderful dialogue. You find out that, hated as The Bride may have been, she was very well regarded and has earned more than just respect in her former allies eyes. Choreographed amazingly, the battle in the House of Blue Leaves is something to see. Using wire work, barrels of blood, and a frenzied camera, this is the kind of action the geeks had hoped for in Matrix Reloadedand never quite got because they used CG for the biggest fight in the film. Tarantino, who had to teach himself how to shoot action, has done well by himself, and by the people hes come to emulate. The film slows a little during an anime sequence that re-tells the background of Lucy Lius character, but this section is very interesting and actually adds to the chaos that is the film.

Brilliantly written, go fig, and well shot, the film will play hell with you with all the film-tricks he pulls out of his hat split screen, black and white, over-exposed film, overhead shots, etc. but none of them seem cheap and gimmicky. As self-conscious as the film may feel (kinda like the Matrix movies in that you get the sense he KNOWS he is making a cool movie), it never gets overwrought with its self-importance, and, without the brilliant intensity of Thurman, the film would fall apart. Its her brutality and the losses shes suffered that make you want to see her accomplish her goal. Even her enemies understand that they deserve to die, but they are going to go down fighting if thats the way its to be.

A wonderfully decadent film in every way and a dream come true for this movie nerd, I couldnt have asked for more. Its going to be a very long four months as we all wait for the next installment. I for one cannot wait.


9 out of 10 Jackasses
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