Now, before I get started, I’m going to treat Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 as one film, as I feel that this was the way that was the way that the director wanted for it to be seen. However, I can understand why director and writer Quentin Tarantino wanted to split it into two films, as it runs over 4 hours in length, rather than cutting anything out. It follows the plot of The Bride/Black Mamba (Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction, Batman and Robin) who is shot at a wedding rehearsal by the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, a group that she used to be a part of. It consists of O-ren Ishii/Cottonmouth (Lucy Liu, Charlie’s Angels, Kung Fu Panda), Elle Driver/California Mountain Snake (Daryl Hannah, Blade Runner, Splash), Vernita Green/Copperhead (Vivica A. Fox, Independence Day, Set It Off) and Budd/Sidewinder (Michael Madsen, Reservoir Dogs, Free Willy). It is fronted by Bill (David Carradine, Bound for Glory, The Serpent’s Egg), the titular character and father to The Bride’s unborn child. The apparently fatal shot only left her comatose, and when she wakes up four years later, she compiles a hit list to take out revenge on all those responsible.
Kill Bill is Tarantino’s homage to martial arts films, and all the genre tropes are there: from the aged martial arts sensei and the Japanese samurai sword maker, to the loyal yakuza henchmen and lengthy fight scenes. Yet Tarantino takes these and makes the film his own by using his common techniques like non-linear storytelling, crisp dialogue and plenty of blood and gore. Even Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown) who frequently appears in Tarrantino’s films, makes a cameo as Rufus, the organ player. The other cast give solid performances, particularly Thurman. She gives a fully fleshed out performance, displaying exactly the right emotions when required.
Although, one of my largest gripes with the film is that the backstories attributed to The Bride’s assassination targets can be uneven. O-ren Ishii has one that’s fully fleshed out, with a nice little anime cartoon telling the audience how she turned from an orphan to an assassin. But the others, especially Vernita Green, feel as if their just there to get killed. I’m not criticising their acting performances, but it’s seems that one is more favoured than the others.
In a nutshell, Kill Bill is an amazing revenge flick, which despite the fact that it’s not going to win any Oscars, is extremely enjoyable. If you’re a fan of any of Tarantino’s films, you’ll love this.