Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.

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Kill Bill: Volume 1

Film #23

THE PLOT

The Bride wakes up after a long coma. The baby that she carried before entering the coma is gone. The only thing on her mind is to have revenge on the assassination team that betrayed her - a team she was once part of.

Year 1, Day 23

BEFORE: Today is going to be a long day. It’s the first day of this marathon with a double feature. That’s right; two for the price of one. And with the Tarantino-theme you can probably guess which two films they are. That’s right: volumes one and two of Kill Bill.

Tarantino originally intended this to be a single film, but it was split into two volumes due to a running time of over four hours. I will be treating these as two separate films and will review them one at a time. In other words, I’ll watch Volume 1, write my review, and then do the same for Volume 2. Each film must be good in and of itself and should be treated as stand alone films. Of course, they are part of the same story/universe so recurring elements will also be taken into consideration.

AFTER: The Klingon proverb, “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” serves as the opening title and the underlying theme or mission of The Bride (Uma Thurman). It’s a very fitting way to start this film which is all about revenge and how The Bride plans on killing the five people on her list.

The premise is very interesting and it’s one that’s filled with many entertaining scenes. Just the scale of the fight scenes alone is amazing. Add to that some great choreography and a variety of weapons and you get some of the best one-on-one and group combats I’ve seen.

But Kill Bill: Volume 1 is far from perfect. The depiction of gore alone is enough to deduct quality points. It’s not the amount of gore that’s upsetting; it’s the lack of realism. Whenever a limb or appendage is cut off, the wound turns into a faucet that drenches the surroundings in a medium to bright-red liquid that is supposed to represent blood. It’s some of the most unrealistic carnage I’ve seen and that’s surprising coming from Tarantino. Now, this may be part of of the heavily stylized look of the film, in which case, I still don’t like it. Another part of the stylized look I didn’t like was the anime. The anime scene was a good addition and it worked well in the context it was placed (an origin story of one of the characters). But it featured the same unrealistic carnage of the live-action scenes and it just ruined it for me.

Going into the second film, I’m expecting more of the same style as Volume 1. On the bright side, I’ll probably get more of the backstory to The Bride’s wedding and how things turned out the way they did.

RATING: 3 out of 5