#49 / 365 – ‘Kill Bill: Volume 1’ (2003) – 111 mins
IMDb Challenge #28 / 250 – Ranked #142 – Via DVD collection
Assassin team member Black Mamba now known as The Bride (Uma Thurman), comes out of a four-year coma following the ambush and massacre of her entire wedding party by her colleagues. She was pregnant but left for dead. Intent on revenge, one by one she tracks down her former colleagues, of the elite DiVAS (Deadly Viper Assassination Squad), each codenamed for a different species of poisonous snake – planning to leave the leader, Bill (David Carradine) to last. First, she heads for Pasadena to clash with Vernita Green, codenamed Copperhead (Vivica A. Fox). On her way to Tokyo for a confrontation with O’Ren-Ishii or Cottonmouth (Lucy Liu), The Bride stops in Okinawa to acquire a handmade new sword from master swordmaker Hattori Hanzo (Sonny Chiba).
Quentin Tarantino is unquestionably one of the great film-makers of modern times who is not afraid to step outside the box to bring the audience something unique every time he casts his pen. Compared to his previous work though in Kill Bill Vol. 1 he plays the narrative as a simple, straight as you come single-minded bloodied tale of revenge told in a mixed chronological order over five chapters, through the eyes of the Bride as she sets out on her quest making sure her enemies not only pay for their crimes against her, but suffer as well.
As it pays homage to a spaghetti western and Japanese anime, where in true Tarantino style a copious amount blood is spilled, just check the anime sequence – the pace is zips along nicely. To me one of the biggest winners was the strong and highly effective use of music that tied in so well with the events of the movie.
Tarantino has commendably fashioned a piece of stylized work that remains utterly original. Ultimately, the debate over whether Kill Bill really needed to be split into two parts will rage, but Vol. 1 ends so perfectly, by dropping a plot bombshell.