The Plot – Ambushed on her wedding day, the assassin once known as Black Mamba is betrayed by the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad headed by Bill. Severely beaten “The Bride” barely mutters to Bill the baby is his before he shoots her in the head.
The story picks up four years later as “The Bride” goes on her quest for revenge. Those that betrayed her will die starting with O-Ren Ishii (Cottonmouth), then Vernita Green (Copperhead), Budd (Sidewinder) would be next while particular attention would be paid to Elle Driver (California Mountain Snake) and last would be Bill.
Kill Bill is a revenge movie plain & simple… or is it?
The Review – By now a lot of folks may have already seen the movie or at least heard that it’s classic Tarantino and violently bloody x 100. Mr. McGee does an excellent job talking about the morality of this film and noting the nods given to previous Tarantino flicks (I thought I was the only one who noticed the “Red Apple” cigarettes). Mr. Perry points out one of the most appealing aspects of a Tarantino film – the soundtrack. As a former musician, I would agree that nobody can weave music into films so well.
Rather than post redundant kudos about the film I wanted to focus on some items only a martial arts film enthusiast like myself might know (Mr. Perry caught the Game of Death tribute). Everyone touched on the level of violence in the film and much has been made about limbs being severed and the very graphic blood spattering scenes. I can’t help but think those scenes were inspired by the movie Shogun Assassin which came out around 1980 and was banned from theatres. Also a revenge film, that movie portrayed a fallen Samurai “Lone Wolf” who traveled the countryside with his son exacting revenge on the Shogun lord who ordered his family killed. If you loved Kill Bill I highly recommend you try and watch this film. (I’ll probably watch it again this weekend just to see if Kill Bill had more gore).
Did anyone else get excited when they saw the names Sonny Chiba (he plays Hattori Hanzo) & Gordon Liu (he plays Johnny Mo) show up in the beginning credits? They were the recurring heroes when I was a kid watching “Kung Fu Theatre” with my mom after Saturday Night Live. Detroit natives might remember when radio DJ Jim Harper dressed up as Charlie Rum to host some of the best chop-sockey flicks that never starred Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee. There was the infamous Street Fighter series starring Sonny Chiba and Gordon Liu did a number of Shaolin themed films most notably Master Killer and The 36 Chambers.
I was very impressed with the fight choreography in this film. While you can argue the level of gore was probably outrageous, what struck me is the fights themselves were more fluid. Unlike the Matrix series, the fight scenes weren’t so polished that they came across as stiff & robotic. Without the wirework Keanu Reeves looked like he was pulling off an elaborate dance routine while Uma Thurman takes it on the chin several times. As Mr. McGee points out there’s nothing superhuman about Uma’s character other than her strength of will.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed Kill Bill. For me it was a nod to all the kung fu flicks of my youth and another stellar epic by Quentin Tarantino. Chad’s probably right though – it’s not a film for everybody. Me? I’ll eagerly be anticipating Volume 2 next year.
Grade: A+++ (Rick was right, this was exactly my kind of movie)