Classic Review – Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)

Title – Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)

Director – Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)

Cast – Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Shin’ichi Chiba, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Vivica A. Fox

Plot – Awaking from a coma after 4 years following a failed murder attempt, former assassin The Bride (Thurman) seeks revenge on those that wronged her including her one time boss/lover Bill (Carradine).

“That woman deserves her revenge and we deserve to die”

Review by Eddie on 13/11/2020

Not a film of substance, Quentin Tarantino’s 4th film is arguably his most fun as he showcases his love for martial arts and kung-fu cinema as we follow Uma Thurman’s scorned “The Bride” on her quest for bloody revenge against those that left her for dead years ago in a church massacre.

Originally developed as one film, the eventual first volume of Kill Bill’s 2-part adventure wastes little time on backstory or nuances as Tarantino keeps the kicks, the slices, the visual flourishes and the killer soundtrack coming at us thick and fast in what becomes a sensory overload of the highest cinematic order.

With memorable moments like such as a bloodthirsty anime detour exploring the beginnings of one of the Bride’s chief rivals, crime boss O-Ren Ishii or the films famed fight between The Bride and the Crazy 88’s, there’s little time for Kill Bill to sit back and smell the blood splattered roses as Tarantino piles on the energy thick and fast, with his leading lady Uma Thurman powering along with him.

In what will surely go down as her most iconic movie role, Thurman is as good as she has ever been as the unnamed Bride.

We don’t get even one minute of backstory in this volume about how she became who she is, why she was left for dead or too much more about the people she is looking to kill/once worked with but it doesn’t matter with the story keeping it simple (an eye for an eye type scenario) and Thurman well and truly becoming a wholly believable one woman wrecking machine.

In a film that relishes in its over the top nature and throwback delivery, The Bride is a fantastic centerpiece to all the craziness going on around her and Thurman is at all times charismatic, charming and most importantly, fiercely determined.

The whole design and goal of Kill Bill won’t be for everyone, there are elements of the film that have dated poorly also (as per usual some Tarantino dialogue and moments feel out of place in today’s more PC world) and the films cartoonish but never the less vicious violence comes thick and fast with little respite across the near two hour runtime of the film.

Final Say – 

Tarantino has dabbled in many genres and Kill Bill: Volume 1 see’s him at his most playful (but not toned down) as he explores the Martial Arts films he adored watching. With a killer lead performance and many memorable moments, this is another fun example of why Tarantino is one of the eras premier filmmakers.

4 baseballs out of 5 

3 responses to “Classic Review – Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)

  1. Awesome! Kill Bill Volume 1 is easily my favorite of Tarantino’s films. You nailed it on the head that the movie is really stylish and fun. It got me into checking out the original Lady Snowblood films.

    This makes me want to go and rewatch it. Great review!

  2. Pingback: Classic Review – Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003) –·

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