An Instant Classic5/10
`The fourth film by Quinton Tarantino', as the credits shamelessly explain, is yet another bankable classic from a director who's already changed the art with `Reservoir Dogs', `Pulp Fiction' and `Jackie Brown'.
From `Kill Bill's first surprising gunshot to its monumental cliffhanger ending (right up there with `Luke, I am your father'), the movie is relentlessly intense, tearing an audience between wanting more action and wanting a cigarette to calm frayed nerves. We follow the tale of `The Bride' (played to convincing, vengeful perfection by Uma Thurman) as she sets out to murder her former colleagues, members of the `Deadly Viper Assassination Squad', and their leader, the enigmatic, faceless Bill. After attempting to leave the group of assassins for a normal life, the Bride is tracked down on her wedding day and witnesses the murder of her wedding party, right before Bill puts her in a coma. Four years later, a very angry Bride wakes up.
Tarantino pulls no punches, creating, as one critic put it, `The most violent film ever released by an American film distributor'. Squirting blood and flying limbs abound, but the director does it all with a breathtaking sense of style. We witness one sword-dance in silhouette, one in black and white, one over a beautifully filmed snow-covered Japanese garden, and even a sequence in Anime. `KB's story is minimal, but Tarantino's aim is style: Sergio Leone, Cheh Chang and Bruce Lee are all paid homage, and then gracefully outdone.
The soundtrack, primarily Japanese artists performing American styles, is haunting: Tarantino breaks form by not using well-known American classic rock (who could forget being `Stuck in the Middle' of Mr. Blonde and a helpless cop?), but by doing so sets the perfect mood of the film. They're songs we've never heard before, but feel strangely connected to.
Yes, the movie is in two volumes. However, the end feels right, coming after an epic battle that puts `Reloaded's `Burly Brawl' to shame. `Kill Bill' is a testament to Tarantino's ability to take the craft of his idols and make it his own, mixing classic cult film style and mixing it with his own wicked sense of Cool. Not for the faint of heart or anyone looking for a
`feel-good' film, but `Kill Bill' is at the very least an instant classic.