Movie Review
Kill Bill: Volume 1
Kill Bill 1 poster
By Greg Ward     Published October 12, 2003
US Release: October 10, 2003

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Uma Thurman , David Carradine , Daryl Hannah , Michael Madsen

R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexual content.
Running Time: 110 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $70,098,138
Truly a film for movie lovers such as myself.
?Kill Bill: Volume 1? is one of the most exciting action films ever made, if not the most exciting action film ever. There are scenes in this film that leave you breathless, sometimes unable to believe what you have just witnessed; this is certainly a filmgoing experience that I won?t forget in the near future.

Uma Thurman stars as The Bride (a.k.a. Black Mamba), a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad who is left for dead at a bridal party where everyone else is killed. The assassins: Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox), O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu), Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah), Budd (Michael Madsen), and of course, Bill (David Carradine).

They are all members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and want Black Mamba dead for a reason unknown in this volume. At the beginning of the film, Bill puts a bullet in The Bride?s head, assuming that she will die. Instead, she ends up in a coma and wakes up four years later, desperate for revenge. In this volume, she sets out to annihilate Vernita Green and O-Ren Ishii.

?Kill Bill: Volume 1? is the ultimate revenge flick ? The Bride is desperate to destroy the lives of the people who killed everyone at her bridal party, and set out to kill her as well. When she wakes up from the coma, she can?t even walk ? this does not stop her, however. She focuses so hard on wiggling her toes, refusing to give up ? she has to walk and be able to kick ass so that she can get the revenge she deserves.

One of the beautiful things about this film is the character of The Bride herself, as she is determined to get revenge and stops at nothing to accomplish her goal. Even though we don?t really know why she was the target of her co-assassins, we feel remorse, wanting her to get what she deserves ? we want her to destroy these assassins even though we barely know them. She is a true representation of someone who sets a goal and does what she has to do in order to accomplish this goal.

Uma Thurman is the perfect choice for this role ? she truly becomes the character, expressing facial expressions that show she means business. She is electrifying to watch, possessing every characteristic a character who wants revenge desperately should have. When she fights the Crazy 88 squad, she kills them off as if it is the easiest thing in the world.

While some might say this film is not really about the performances, I must say that I can?t imagine anyone else but Thurman playing the Bride. She has that look, that aura that allows her to become this character who is picking up her life and destroying the people who tried to keep her from living it four years ago. When she first arrives at Vernita?s house towards the beginning of the film, she looks at the house, knowing that she has to do what has to be done. She has set out to do something, and Uma Thurman is the only actress I find convincing enough to allow the Bride to accomplish the goal she has set.

The writing in this film is pretty standard, with a few one-liners here and there. The film doesn?t really rely on the script, however. Instead, it relies on the extremely intense action sequences, including the scene where The Bride fights the Crazy 88 squad and involves the dismemberment of body parts and the ripping of eyes right from their sockets.

This may sound disgusting, but it is really meant for fun and not for shock value. Sure, it is extremely gory, but that is not what the focus of these scenes is supposed to be. This film is intended to be a homage to the classic kung fu films of the past, and I do believe it does just that, exceeding some of the films in the process.

The look of the film is also fantastic ? the use of color truly sets the mood of each scene. Take the scene where The Bride flies to meet O-Ren: when she is in the plane, the color of the sky is bright orange. I am not sure what this symbolizes, but nevertheless, it is truly beautiful. The final battle involving O-Ren and The Bride at the House of Blue Leaves is also extraordinarily gorgeous. The snowy blue background allows the audience to see how inspirational past and recent Kung Fu films are to this film. I can?t imagine a better background for this sequence, simply because it is truly beautiful and seems to be the perfect place for a battle to the death.

Quentin Tarantino truly proves himself as a brilliant director with ?Kill Bill: Volume 1.? Here, he has created the ultimate action movie, with breathtaking fight sequences that, when over, leave you craving for more. Sure, his dialogue may not be as sharp as usual, but he makes up for it with the intense battle sequences that serve as candy for an action movie lover. True Tarantino fans will appreciate this film for what it is instead of uselessly comparing it to ?Pulp Fiction.?

Moviegoers must realize that this is not ?Pulp Fiction,? which was a brilliant film that has impacted many movie lovers and distinguished Tarantino as an extraordinary director. With ?Kill Bill,? he set out to make the ultimate revenge film while attempting to create a gorgeous action film that challenges recent action flicks. He truly has accomplished his goal.

Some may criticize the fact that he split the film into two volumes, complaining that it is just a way for Miramax to rake in more money, but I disagree; in fact, I think the split works very well.? Volume 1? ends with an excellent cliffhanger that leaves you craving for more. What I think Tarantino has done is quite brilliant, taking a risk that no other director would take.

?Kill Bill: Volume 1? is truly a film for movie lovers such as myself. Anyone who loves film will appreciate what Tarantino has done with this extraordinary action film, and I personally cannot wait for ?Volume 2.?
Greg's Grade: A
Greg's Overall Grading: 25 graded movies
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'Kill Bill 1' Articles
  • Jennifer's review A-
    October 15, 2003    Simply awesome. -- Jennifer Alpeche
  • Lee's review B+
    October 11, 2003    May very well go down as one of the coolest films ever made. -- Lee Tistaert
  • Gareth's review B-
    October 10, 2003    A dazzling combination of action and visuals that will delight some and frustrate others who are looking for more depth. -- Gareth Von Kallenbach