Kill Bill: Vol 1 (****)

(2003) Quentin Tarantino – w/ Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine (kind of), Michael Madsen, Julie Dreyfus, Chiaki Kuriyama, Sonny Chiba, etc., etc., etc.

kill billSynopsis: Uma Thurman is The Bride, a would-be escapist from a life of stealthy assassinations, who, (amidst her would-be wedding) is beat up and gunned down by her own ex-team (a mostly-female team of world-class assassins, each of whom takes her code-name from a deadly snake). The Bride’s code-name is Black Mamba, and when she wakes up from her coma, she’s itchin’ for revenge. Bill’s the head of this team of assassins. The Bride wants to, in typical movie assassin revenge-fashion, kill him. Hence the title of this flick. Kill Bill. (The “Vol. 1” is because it’s the first of two parts.) Style, violence, and hilarity ensues.

Review: What’s to say? Characteristic Tarantino, ‘Kill Bill: Vol 1’ is all about style, style, style. By my reckoning — admittedly not anywhere near the most insightful you might find — KBv1 is an exercise in entertainment. Homage to martial arts, whatever; it’s a fun piece of action. There’s witty banter, off-the-cuff narration, slick music, and dazzling colors; there’s action, revenge, and blood. What more could you want? The word picaresque comes to mind, but it’s probably slightly off-the-mark. KBv1 doesn’t quite match the brilliance of Pulp Fiction, but it’s not clear that that’s what it set out to do, really. (It’s hard to say what Vol 2 will do to this assessment, so I won’t even try to hazard a guess.) All in all, a good time to be had.

Rating: [••••] out of [•••••]