The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Kill Bill

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Judy Thorburn

Kill Bill

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

UMA IS FEMME ‘FATAL’ IN “KILL BILL”

Quentin Tarantino is back with a vengeance.  Or rather, it’s his main character that is the one seeking revenge in Kill Bill, Volume 1, and his first script to come to life on screen since 1997’s Jackie Brown. During the shooting of Tarantino’s 1994 hit Pulp Fiction, the writer/director had the idea for a story specifically in mind for his then Pulp Fiction leading lady, Uma Thurman, as the star. More than a few years have passed, but the result is a well crafted, slick piece of movie making with Thurman filling the shoes of a headstrong and determined female terminator, a role that she fulfills with command and power. In other words, she does one ass-kicking job, figuratively and professionally.

In Kill Bill, Volume 1,Uma Thurman plays the beautiful, but deadly, assassin looking for payback for the massacre that killed everyone in her wedding party and left her near death with a bullet in her head.  After four years in a coma, she awakens with one thing on her mind – go after the people who did this to her. With narration by Thurman, we get to know that she was a member of an elite team of assassins known as The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad led by an unseen, but occasionally heard, leader named Bill. He was the man who we know pulled the trigger after the very pregnant bride announced, “it’s your baby”, just before her lights dimmed to black.

Told in chapters and flashbacks, The Bride, or code name Black Mamba, upon escaping from her hospital room, makes a list of her former colleagues (Vivica A. Fox, Lucy Liu, Darryl Hannah, Michael Madsen,) and their leader, Bill (David Carrradine) in order to eliminate them one by one and settle the score.  And, she means business in the worst way. It’s obvious to see that Tarantino created a tough female Samurai style warrior and story theme that pays homage to those old spaghetti westerns and martial arts movies, adding his own brand of continuous action sequences and exaggerated bloodbaths.

The first to be hunted down is Vernita Green (Fox), code name Copperhead, who claims to be retired, now married to a doctor, a homemaker and mother. That visit turns into a knife-wielding showdown of home wrecking proportions ending with one down, and more to be reckoned with.  But, not before the Bride gets herself in shape, perfecting skills with the weapon of choice, a special sword from the Japanese Master himself, who trained Bill. Then it’s on to enemy number two, O Ren Ishi, (Liu) a.k.a. Cottonmouth, the half Japanese, half Chinese orphan who witnessed her parents’ murders as a child (seen in a graphic anime sequence) and sought revenge by becoming one of the top female assassins in the world, and the feared leader of Tokyo’s organized crime. The confrontation with O Ren’s eighty eight henchmen, her bi-lingual associate, Sophie Fatale (Julie Sweeney) and the deadly teenager, Go Go (Chiaki Kuriyama) are some of the most exhilarating, exciting, and best fight sequences seen in a long time, if ever. And, that doesn’t include the final one on one swordfight between Mamba and Cottonmouth.

Since this is only Volume 1 of a two-part Kill Bill storyline, audiences will have to wait until February 2004 for the conclusion in Volume 2. That’s when our forceful female fighting machine will meet up with the remaining two members and leader of her death squad, including the one eyed blond bombshell Elle Driver/California Mountain Snake (Darryl Hannah), who nearly finished her off while Mamba lay in her hospital bed.

The decision to split the movie into two parts was a clever marketing decision.  As for Miramax Studios saying that the more than three-hour film was too long doesn’t really click, since Lord of the Rings and numerous other big films of that length, didn’t turn off anyone. Be that as it may, this installment leaves audiences hungry for more, especially with the cliffhanger surprise ending.

After a hiatus from films, it’s great to see Tarantino back and on top of his game. Although Kill Bill lacks some of his trademark techniques, it is still an exercise in very cool movie making from a brilliant writer and director. It may not be in a class like Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs, but Kill Bill is, nevertheless, an entertaining and adrenaline pumping ride filled with a colorful, perfect cast and thrilling action highlighted by great fight choreography.  Oh yes, there is plenty of gore and gushing blood, with severed limbs, decapitations and other body parts flying all over the place. It’s violent and gruesome, but so deliciously over the top, as to be almost cartoonish, and rather funny.  However, the ultra sensitive squeamish should know what’s in store.

Kill Bill should satisfy Tarantino fans or anyone else who appreciates his work. I, for one am anxious to see how the remaining characters get their just desserts, in Volume 2.  The Bride may be prepared and ready to Kill Bill, but Tarantino’s career is alive again now that this film is out, thanks to a chapter well done.