Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

I said in one of my earlier posts that I couldn't even watch Tarantino's Kill Bill movies. I thought that Kill Bill: Vol.1 was too flashy, too many homages etc. I just stopped it all right there. I never really gave Kill Bill: Vol. 2 a chance. Well I decided to give the series another crack, and that I was gonna try to enjoy the first movie from the get go. Have it in my mind that what I was watching was enjoyable. And I actually saw the movie in a different light when I took that approach. Most of it is really good when you just give it a chance.

It's not a Tarantino film that you're used to, his great dialogue for one is missing for most of the film, and we don't get the chance to really identify with the characters and get to know them. This is his action movie, he's throwing his hat in the ring with the other great action directors. The plot is simple: Bill (David Carradine) and his Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, made up of Budd(Michael Madsen), O'Ren Oshii(Lucy Liu), Vernita Green(Vivica A. Fox) and Elle Griver(Daryl Hannah) murder former Viper member The Bride(Uma Thurman) on her wedding day, along with the Bride's groom and friends. To make things worse The Bride was pregnant at the time. As Bill shoots her in the head, execution style, she lets him know that the baby is his. The Bride wakes up four years later, and plots bloody revenge on the people responsible. What follows is bloody mayhem.

The action scenes were ok. If I had more knowledge and greater awareness of Chinese Martial Arts cinema, or Japanese Samurai movies I might have apprectiated it more. I once started watching the legendary "Enter The Dragon" starring Bruce Lee and I had to switch it off. I just didn't "get" it. I knew there was something great in it, I just couldn't see it and appreciate it. Same goes for the Kill Bill: Vol. 1, but I went along this time. There's a great action piece with O-Ren Oshii's body gaurd, a 17-year-old psychopathic schoolgirl by the name of Gogo. Her weapon of choice is a Meteor hammer, an ancient Chinese weapon. It's basically a big metal ball with blades on a chain. The scene really makes you sit up in your seat and pay attention in anticipation of violent, well choreographed chaos.

Other parts of the action were too drawn out. The final battle between The Bride and O-Ren, the ex-assassin turned Yakuza boss, takes forever without much happening at all. The setting does look great though. What I liked best about the movie was Tarantino's enthusiasm for worldwide cinema, and how he brought all the elements together. There's spagetti westerns of Sergio Leone, Kung Fu movies, there was stuff in there that i just was not getting, but I could tell that Tarantino was having a great time making it.

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