Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Madsen, Julie Dreyfus, Chiaki Kuriyama, Shin’ichi Chiba
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 51 min
After watching Kill Bill: Volume 1, I sat down in front of my computer for a while, and pondered how I might explain what I saw. What I needed was an analogy. What popped into my head was a cotton candy* machine. Go figure.
As I thought about the first installment of the Kill Bill saga, and its unlikely correlation to a machine usual found at fairgrounds. I thought about the ingredients used to make both products, and how Kill Bill’s packet of sugary goodness included everything Quentin Tarantino has enjoyed about the movies his entire life. The film is a sweet mix of pop-culture references from beginning to end. Anime, martial arts, westerns, and an awesome soundtrack sampled from all genres of music over the last forty or fifty years.
So there’s Mr. Tarantino, using every ingredient he can think of like a kid left unsupervised with the cotton candy machine. Adding whatever he wants to the mix, while collecting and layering all these elements to create a really sweet treat.
From Uma Therman’s excellent performance as The Bride, to the well staged action scenes, gratuitous amounts of blood, and extreme cartoonish violence, there’s nothing that original about this film. It’s the juxtaposition of genres that works in Kill Bill, as we go from extreme domestic violence in the California suburbs, to getting big toes to wiggle inside the Pussy Wagon. From O-Ren’s (Lucy Liu) awesome animated back story, to The Bride’s epic battle with the Crazy 88, dressed in a very recognizable yellow and black jumpsuit**. Not to mention Daryl Hannah’s awesome appearance as the one-eyed assassin, Elle Driver, dressed as a nurse sporting a red cross eye-patch. It’s all nuts really, but I loved it, and I highly recommend you watch this movie at your earliest convenience.
* This is called Candy Floss in the UK and other parts of the world.
** Reference to Game of Death – A classic Bruce Lee film.
Kill Bill: Volume 1 is very violent. Most of that is very cartoonish, and one small segment of the film is literally a cartoon – but it can still be off-putting if uber-violent movies are not your cup of tea. If you’re a fan of Tarantino’s work, you will likely enjoy this. This is also one of Uma Thurman’s best performances to date so it’s certainly worth checking out.
Visually, it’s all over the place with deliberately obvious model work and animation. I would recommend a HD viewing at home. Watching this on a tablet or phone would reduce its impact.
I loved the O-Ren animated back story segment of this film. Stylish, well animated while incredibly violent but also moving and powerful.