Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)

Movie Title: Kill Bill: Volume 1

Year Released: 2003

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 52min

Genre: Action, Crime, Martial Arts

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Sonny Chiba, Julie Dreyfus, Chiaki Kuriyama, Gordon Liu, Michael Parks

Review: A former assassin, known simply as The Bride (Uma Thurman), wakes from a coma four years after her jealous ex-lover Bill (David Carradine) attempts to murder her on her wedding day. Fueled by an insatiable desire for revenge, she vows to get even with every person who contributed to the loss of her unborn child, her entire wedding party, and four years of her life. After devising a hit list, The Bride sets off on her quest, enduring unspeakable injury and unscrupulous enemies.

Full disclosure; this movie is quintessential Tarantino. It's gruesome and violent. That said, the first volume in the Kill Bill duology is in my opinion, one of Quentin Tarantino's best. The first half of the movie sets up the premise of the vengeful bride hell-bent on getting revenge on her betrayers. The action starts right off the bat as The Bride and Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox) have a fun, yet bloody encounter in Green's suburban home. This scene is a clever, intense samurai-like battle with household items rather than kitana swords. This scene sets the tone of what should be expected by this film as The Bride sets off for Japan to find her dangerous adversary, O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) who is now the leader of the Tokyo yakuza. The last 45 minutes or so, is an absolutely incredible fight scene between The Bride, Ishii's yakuza gang, and ultimately Ishii herself. I cannot stress enough how epic this scene is, with well-choreographed fight sequences, and masterful odes to Japanese samurai cinema. Plus, the penultimate fight scene with Chiaki Kuriyama's Gogo Yubari is amazing. The actors portraying the members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (Thurman, Liu, Fox, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen) all do a fantastic job selling themselves as terrifyingly crazy individuals. This movie has a lot of violence and gore, so it is not for the squeamish, but it is also a fun, adrenaline-filled masterpiece. I highly recommend this film!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: During the fight scene between Gogo Yubari (Chiaki Kuriyama) and the Bride (Uma Thurman), when the flail rebounds, hitting Gogo on the back of her head, the sound of bowling pins being knocked over can be heard when Gogo falls through the table beneath her. While shooting the same scene, Kuriyama accidentally hit Quentin Tarantino on the head with her ball and chain while he was standing by the camera.


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