Projections - Movie Reviews

Kill Bill: Vol. 1

There's plenty of blood, knives, and samurai swords to go around as Quentin Tarantino reunites with Uma Thurman in Kill Bill: Vol. 1.   Tarantino's fourth film, his first since 1997's Jackie Brown, is an extremely violent tale of revenge sliced into two installments with strong female characters led by Thurman's Bride.

The production which has a broad scope for the auture of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction pays homage to 1970 Kung Fu cinema.  The casting of David Carradine in the part of Bill, the Bride's husband, makes sense from his starring role in the small-screen Kung Fu.

Again, chronology is dispelled as one hears that "revenge is never a straight line."  The Bride has been left for dead by her Deadly Viper Assassination Squad with a bullet in her head complements of Bill, her husband.  Betrayal has this woman waking up from four years in a coma to seek them out, culminating in Bill.

Vol. 1 proceeds in circular fashion of sorts to have the Bride in California to confront her fellow slayer in Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox) who awaits her son's arrival from school.  She visits former member O-Ren Ishii, a sprightly intelligent Lucy Liu, currently a yakuza head in Tokyo.  In the midst of this, the screenplay awakens one to what the Bride previously dealt with in her many deadly encounters.  Daryl Hannah has some tough screen presence in a lesser part as the one-eyed Elle Driver, another Viper.

The film isn't out for any deep emotion as Tarantino proves his cinematic poise once again with some riveting, raw moments.  In her striped yellow suit, Thurman is powerful and lissome meeting the physical challenges of a part not as glamorous as one may think.  The casting invites a melting pot with Liu having a more interesting role than in Charlie's Angels or Ballistic as striking animation touches on a past filled with brutality living in a cool lair with many masked minions at her side.

The gore and dismemberment will turn off many who don't know that Tarantino is jump-starting the "grind house" craze.  It's all or nothing and the quality of craftsmanship is undeniable.  He works impressively with master fight choreographer Yuen Wo-Ping to bring creativeness to vengeance that at times becomes too rough for the taking.  The music is clever and quirky as this bloodfest doesn't lose its sense of humor even at its cliffhanger with something to remember before this relentless, ruthless epic continues next February.

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Jim
Howard
Jennifer
Kathleen
Avg.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1
B-
 
C-
B
 
 
 
B-
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