Directed By Quentin Tarantino
Starring Uma Thurman, Lucy Lui, Vivica A Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine , Michael Madsen, Michael Parks and Sid Haig
12 years passed between the release of Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill and as the title cards let us know this is only the fourth film from writer/director Quentin Tarantino. It’s strange that a film maker made such a huge impact on modern cinema with so few films.
Kill Bill is Tarantino’s riff on the chop socky films of the 60’s and 70’s. Those films were noted for ridiculous stories, terrible special effects and unrestrained full throttle violence. If you were to sit down and watch Master of the Flying Guillotine or The One Armed Swordsman you could easily see the sandbox that Tarantino wanted to play in.
As he did in Jackie Brown, Tarantino makes a movie heavily influenced by a very specific genre of films and makes something that transcends genre. The story follows The Bride (Uma Thurman) as she tracks down and kills the five people on her “Death List.” Kill Bill is at its core a chop socky film but it is so much more than homage. It’s a film that shows women kicking ass and while it’s not the first action/martial arts/kung fu/gangster/western/revenge film to have female protagonists at… ok on second thought this is the first film of its kind and it was a ballsy move to have women play the Bruce Lee/Wesley Snipes roles. Kill Bill will be remembered for the excessive, cartoonish violence it displayed but the film also shows a great deal of heart. None of the characters in this film are one dimensional. While the audience is clearly being told who to root for we are also given insight that shows us our protagonist isn’t that far removed from her antagonists. An argument could easily be made that Uma Thurman’s character is no better than the people she is hunting down.
While Tarantino’s films are incredibly accessible they should never be seen as simple. They are rich films that easily lend themselves to repeat viewings. If you haven’t seen Kill Bill why the hell are you reading this? Stop and go watch it now. If you have seen it maybe it’s time to revisit it. Kill Bill vols 1 & 2 are currently streaming on Netflix.
Rumor has it that we will finally see a theatrical release of The Whole Bloody Affair sometime in 2015. I missed Kill Bill Theatrically the first time around and I’ve put off buying the BluRays because we have been promised this release for years now. Holy shit, it just occurred to me that Kill Bill is ten years old. Where did the time go?