Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu
If you are a fan of other Tarantino films such as Pulp Fiction (1994) and Reservoir Dogs (1992) then I recommend adding this outstanding film to your list.
Kill Bill: Vol 1 delivers just the same amount of brilliance, violence and blood as any other of Quentin Tarantino’s films. The story follows The Bride (Uma Thurman) on her quest for revenge against those who attempted to kill her. We see our protagonist in the very first scene in her veil, severely beaten up on the floor. In the first few minutes of the film the audience quickly discover why The Bride is going to kill Bill (David Carradine). As opening sequences go, this one promises much more violence than this to come.
In this volume we are only introduced to a few of the assassins that were responsible, while others are looked into in much more detail in the second volume. The overall antagonist for the Kill Bill series is obviously Bill, yet this first volume focuses on another antagonist called O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu). For me, by far the best scene in this film is the lead up to their confrontation at the House of Blue Leaves. Before our protagonist battles O-Ren, first she must overcome the bodyguards, The Crazy 88. This scene is packed full of blood and violence and is brilliantly choreographed.
Afterwards, both females at last come together for a final battle in the snow covered garden of the House of Blue Leaves. Slow in tempo compared to the previous fight sequence, this one nevertheless is filled with suspense. Amongst this beautiful scenery we have our protagonist who boldly stands out in her bright yellow outfit that it splattered with red blood compared to her opponent who is dressed in crisp white. What makes these fight scenes even better is that from the fight with The Crazy 88 to the fight with O-Ren, the whole action sequence is roughly 20mins long. (FYI, Tarantino can include a lot of violence in that amount of time!).
Throughout the film we only see tiny teases of Bill such as a voice over or his hand- leaving him quite enigmatic for the entire film. When I first watched this film the mixture of Bill’s mysteriousness and The Bride’s determination is what kept me captivated until the very end. In this volume we see tiny snippets of Bill behind the scenes as more is to be revealed in the next film. Even though viewers are eager to discover who he is, prolonging his reveal makes it even better in the long run.
“That woman deserves her revenge and we deserve to die.”- Budd
This film definitely contains a lot to keep your interest. From samurai swords to epic fights, you will finish watching this film and then immediately want to watch the next volume to find out what happens next. For me as a viewer, I thoroughly enjoyed following The Bride’s story of revenge and it made me feel heavily invested as I watched her desperate attempts to keep surviving. The Bride fights on showing no mercy and certainly no forgiveness. This film promises revenge and it certainly delivers it.
Filled with vibrant colours, fitting soundtrack and strong characters, Kill Bill: Vol 1 is not a film to miss in my opinion. Tarantino presents yet again another superb film full of violence and humour. This opening part of the Kill Bill series is an entertaining one indeed.
Best bit: The fight scene at the House of Blue Leaves.
Worst bit: Not seeing Bill properly until Vol 2.
Take note: It wouldn’t be a Tarantino film without a lot of blood and gore.