Review: Kill Bill

Caught a late showing of Kill Bill Vol. 1 last night. I've really been looking forward to this film for awhile, seeing as how it's been some time since Quentin Tarantino released his last flick, Jackie Brown.

My feelings going into the movie were mixed. I kept myself away from most spoilers, as to not ruin the experience, but I knew that this was filmed as one movie and the studio decided to cut it into two. Unlike Lord of the Rings and the Matrix sequels, which were concieved as seperate films when shot, this was intended to be one film. I thought this could be disasterous for Tarantino's modern kung fu epic.

Thankfully, the movie didn't disappoint.

This is, by far, the most violent American film I've seen in some time. The violence is extremely over the top and, in a sense, cartoonish. While the level of violence might be unsettling for some, I felt that it fit the atmosphere of the film perfectly. One of the film's backstories is actually a portion of the film done totally in anime, further supporting the overdone violence.

What I enjoyed most about the film was the barrage on the senses. As with previous Tarantino films, the soundtrack is brilliant. This man has some good taste in music. There's a lot of elements of funk and hip-hop, plus classics. Hell, the movie kicks off with a somber Nancy Sinatra song.

Visually, the film is no let down either. The anime sequence is well done, and mirrors the action of the film in a lot of ways. The film's grand finale is a battle between Lucy Liu and Uma Thurman in a white Japanese garden with snow falling. The setting is extremely epic.

I found it refreshing that Tarantino's signature self-concious pop culture references are absent from this film. While these social commenataries were entertaining in Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Jackie Brown, their notoriety has gotten the best of them over time, and it's nice to see that Tarantino doesn't take the predictable route.

The film borrows a lot from Asian cinema and spaghetti westerns, but while this is a mishmashing of genres, its done well enough to make Kill Bill its own film. The result is a highly entertaining opus of violence that will probably be one of the few films released this year that people will even bother to remember.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the second half of the film come February.

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2003 - 2005
Reverend Hughes