Movie Reviews: Kill Bill




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     Miramax (90 min.)
     A former hit lady swears revenge on her boss who betrayed her.
     Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox
Bottom Line:


Unlike his complicated "Jackie Brown" or super slick, flashback laden "Pulp Fiction," Quentin Tarantino’s campy and bloody thriller "Kill Bill" makes little sense or no sense at all.

Even Tarantino’s first blood-soaked outing, "Reservoir Dogs" had a tread of a discernable storyline running through it.

However, "Kill Bill" can only be described as typical Tarantinoesque allowed to run wild.

A baby-boomer and die hard pop-culture fan, Tarantino litters his film with B-movie fodder, Japanimation, and conjures up a strange brew of blaxploitation, spaghetti westerns and 1970s kickass kung fu rolled into one film.

However, the film works. The premise hangs on a pregnant character named The Bride (Uma Thurman), a former member of an elite female assassin team run by a mysterious figure name Bill (David Carradine).

We’ll…that’s until her wedding day. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that The Bride’s colleagues (Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah and Michael Madsen) gun her down at the altar as she’s about to take her vows, while Bill administers the coup-de-grace, or so he thinks, by shooting her in the head.

But the bullet only puts The Bride in a four-year coma, and when she wakes up childless, The Bride is pissed and begins seeking revenge on her colleagues one-by-one, leaving Bill for last.

What’s fascinating about the film is the dialogue and banter between the characters, and the look of the film, in a word, is breathtaking.

Styles, smiles and profiles carry the film as The Bride learns the code of the samurai warrior from a retired samurai master and commences to amputate and disembowel any unfortunate villain or would-be hijacker who cares to taste the edge of her sword. There’s a palpable scene on an airplane where The Bride and several other travelers have their samurais within arm’s length of their seats.

The highlight of the film climaxes as a samurai sword fight ensues between The Bride and O-Ren Ishi (Lucy Liu) in the villain’s hangout, The Snow Garden of The House of Blue Leaves. The fight choreography and cinematography are exquisite and Oscar quality.

Warning! Heads literally roll in this flick. It’s definitely not for the squeamish, although half way through the film, decapitations happen by the bushel and they start to lose their shock effect. Tarantino, who dresses like his characters when filming, didn’t want to shorten the picture, which originally ran three hours, so he has cut it into two parts. "Kill Bill Vol. 2" will be released in February 2004.



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