Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, David Carradine, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, Sonny Chiba
Rated: R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexual content.
Parental notes: Hyper-violent, full of distressing images, and barrels of gore, this is not a movie for the weak-stomached and definitely too intense for younger teens. It’s probably too intense for some adults, too.
It’s not every day that a movie is released which is at once completely without depth of character or plot development and packed to the gills with homages, cross-cultural references, and the words of the great philosophers. “Kill Bill Vol. 1” is a film sure to please those with both a strong stomach and fondness for either old martial arts flicks or pretentious art house material.
The story at its heart is a simple one: a wronged woman seeks revenge. Tarantino, being who he is, packs it to the gills with backstory, convoluted timelines, snappy dialog, and plenty of violence. That last item is central to the plot, which centers around The Bride (Uma Thurman). She is on the path of revenge, hunting down the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, of which she was once a member. That was before she tried to leave and they gunned down everyone at her wedding, including her. After four years in a coma, she awakes and sets out to get even.
In this first installment, we get the background to her revenge saga and the first two murders on her five-person hit list. No doubt the conclusion will include the remaining three. It’s easy to see why Tarantino and Miramax chose to split “Kill Bill” into two 90-minute films rather than one three-hour long epic. After an hour and a half, the bloodbath verges on the tedious – three hours would leave the audience numb rather than cheering for more. And as an added bonus, by splitting it in two, Tarantino can nod his head to the old melodrama serials and multi-part epics from Hong Kong and Japan.
“Kill Bill, Vol. 1” takes over-the-top action to a new level, distilling hundreds of old martial arts movies into an hour and a half of virtually non-stop clich