Sunday, April 16, 2006

"Kill Bill: Vol 1" review

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Writing credits Quentin Tarantino

Uma Thurman.... The Bride
Lucy Liu.... O-Ren Ishii
Vivica A. Fox.... Vernita Green
Daryl Hannah.... Elle Driver
David Carradine.... Bill
Michael Madsen.... Budd

"Kill Bill" is an arty revenge flick. Style over substance is putting it mildly. "Kill Bill" is no substance and all style. It hurts me to say that because this flick has all the movie elements that I would normally find quite enjoyable. A girl in a school uniform attacking with a mace and chain? Sounds great! So what's my problem? Tarantino may be a fervent admirer of exploitation movies but he doesn't have the guts to go all the way and actually make one.

This movie was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. This movie was made for an audience of one: Quentin Tarantino. He is the absolute master in constantly reminding the audience that they are watching a movie. A Tarantino movie. The violence in "Kill Bill" is plentiful and bloody but it's presented in a stylish way that drains away the impact. In other words, you know that the violence is fake. See, it's all movie-violence! None of the blood and guts has anything to do with real life! See severed heads fly off while blood spurts out of the bad guy's necks like a Monty Python skit! You've got action scenes that switch from color to black and white, an anime sequence and Samurai Uma fighting bad guys in front of a blue screen. These and other Tarantino show-off touches dilute the violence and turn "Kill Bill" into a toothless, bloody comedy.

However, "Kill Bill" did have a girl attacking with a mace and chain. I have to like it on some level. But Tarantino cannot play an action scene straight. Everything has to be done for laughs. Sorry, but I can't laugh along with it.

SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 schoolgirls attacking with a mace and chain

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