"An homage movie that doesn't take itself so seriously"
I was nervous about seeing Kill Bill, supposedly one of the most violent films—ever. The dread quickly disappeared when I realized that the violence is for the most part way over the top and somewhat cheesy. To say Kill Bill is gory or bloody does it no justice. The sheer gallons of faux blood makes me wish I’d invested in blood futures. But what does a Niagara of the sticky stuff get you?A lovely Uma Thurman who plays Black Mamba, previous member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad lead by Bill. The former Viper squad-mates turn on Black Mamba, tracking the bride down to her wedding and executing the whole party. Thurman survives, intent on avenging her murder, and that of her husband and unborn child.
The idea of a blood spattered ‘bride’ first prompted Tarantino and Thurman to generate the revenge tale. They worked on the story for years, producing a mix of genres and devices that would thrill any pop culture geek. The plot is not linear, of course. Would you expect any less? The carefully constructed leapfrogs keep the audience guessing, although in some cases you already know the outcome.
Tarantino’s flair for dialogue is a little tempered in Kill Bill. Its not that the dialogue is poor, to the contrary, for an action film its quite good. If you think of Kill Bill as a send-up the dialogue fits perfectly. Overly flashy dialogue would have detracted from the feel and made the film more self-indulgent than it actually is.
The most disturbing sequence in Kill Bill follows soon after our heroine awakes from a coma—a scene that makes you angry and sick. It has been a long time since I’ve felt so much anger in a movie. But it is pointedly that revulsion that carries the viewer exactly where the director needs you to be—totally invested in the story. Tarantino is smart because the most disgusting part is also the least violent. As the full implications dawn on you, you are prepared for the carnage ahead. It is interesting to contrast the totality of violence in Kill Bill with the relative calm of the scene. It makes you realize that often the things that are the most overtly violent are not the things that truly scar us.For all the violence, Kill Bill was fun. The action is intense, amusing, entertaining and absolutely well done. Kill Bill is the kind of movie that you can watch repeatedly to catch all of the foreshadowing and little things you couldn’t catch the first time. When was the last time you said that about any action movie? Tarantino set out to make a tribute to his pop-film heritage and certainly succeeded. I can’t wait to see Part II.
This film is available for download or online viewing at CinemaNow.com For more in the CinemaNow.com series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.