Kill Bill Vol 1
- Uma Thurman as The Bride/Black Mamba
- David Carradine as Bill
- Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishii/Cottonmouth
- Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver/ California Mountain Snake
- Vivica A. Fox as Vernita Green/ Copperhead
- Michael Madsen as Budd/Sidewinder
Quentin Tarantino’s fourth movie is an action packed, blood soaked revenge tale told with stylish panache and various references to other genres. From samurai movies to anime and western, Tarantino fashions all of these into this wildly entertaining action with a breakneck pace and a seriously kick ass heroine.
Left for dead on her wedding day, a woman, known only as “The Bride” eventually awakens from a four-year coma after a mosquito bites her. In non-linear fashion, we are informed of her origins and what led to her near death experience. She was once a member of The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, an elite group of skilled assassins under the charge of the eponymous Bill. She went by the codename Black Mamba whilst working for the squad. The Bride, who was also pregnant was attacked by the other members on her wedding day and Bill put a bullet in her head. After waking from her coma and realising her baby is now gone, The Bride’s rage begins to manifest and she swears a brutal revenge. Escaping hospital, she quickly makes a list of the members of the assassination squad who she intends to kill one by one for their part in her brutal attack. Vol 1 deals with The Bride tracking down two of the members on the list, the fierce Vernita Green and the powerful O-Ren Ishii. And so begins a wildly entertaining revenge saga that is daring, über stylish and full of bloody violence and action. As the proverb at the beginning of the film states “Revenge is a dish best served cold”. Or in Tarantino’s case, cold and covered with lashings of blood.
Tarantino should be praised for the way he manages to incorporate so many disparate influences into a seriously entertaining though brutal film. From utilising music from classic westerns and featuring a startling anime sequence, he definitely knows how to keep you watching. The kinetic editing is superb in capturing The Bride’s one-woman mission to annihilate those who have caused her great pain. Special notice must go to the fighting choreography which really is something to behold. The biggest highlight is The Bride’s blood soaked duel with the Crazy 88, hitmen for O-Ren. Cutting between colour and black and white gives the scene a thrilling and daring quality that is hard to not appreciate. Some may complain that the film is an example of style over substance, but if that is the case you have to admit that the style is certainly entertaining nonetheless. As is the case with most of Tarantino’s movies, the soundtrack is an eclectic listen, this time featuring music from Spaghetti Westerns, old samurai movies and thrillers.
The cast of the Kill Bill Vol 1 all deliver memorable work. Heading the cast with a searing performance is Uma Thurman as The Bride. She encompasses the pain that gives way to unleashing her inner rage and physical strength on those who betrayed her with fearless ability. The Bride is one seriously kick ass character who you really don’t want to mess with. Although his face isn’t seen, David Carradine manages to make Bill a menacing character just with the sound of his voice. He is cloaked in enigmas as the story unfolds and The Bride makes it her priority to kill everyone before reaching the traitorous Bill. Out of the other members of the assassination team, which includes Vivica A. Fox and Michael Madsen, Lucy Liu and Daryl Hannah make the biggest impacts. Lucy Liu embodies the fierce violence within O-Ren which stems for a childhood in which she witnessed her family’s murder. Her duel with The Bride is a visually spectacular highlight as they fight with katanas in the snow. Daryl Hannah makes quite an entrance as the one-eyed Elle Driver. Strutting into hospital dressed in white while whistling a chilling song and planning The Bride’s death, she is most certainly an interesting creation from Tarantino.
Ultra violent, daring and stylish, Kill Bill Vol 1 isn’t for the faint of heart. But it will appeal to those who get the various genre references and who want to witness the excellent and hypnotic work from Quentin Tarantino.