Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) – Movie Review by Max Coulson

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7.5/10

I know it’s a good movie, okay?  Shut the fuck up!

Look, I get it!  It merges multiple genres, has a great soundtrack, has some really iconic moments, some great action, some great gore…  I get it!  It’s Tarantino’s take on the martial arts genre.  It’s fun yet dark revenge movie that makes no real attempt to morally justify the actions of the woman seeking revenge.

Is it Tarantino’s masterpiece?  Maybe.  I could certainly see why people make that claim.  It certainly feels elevated above much of Tarantino’s other work.  More artful, and less shlocky.

I think that be my issue.

I’m not saying I don’t like more artful or thought-provoking movies.  I’m a huge fan of Lynch, Cronenberg, Jodorowski.  I liked Rubber.  Hell, I even like a couple of Harmony Korine movies.  Non-linear or even fully abstract storylines are fine by me.  Hell, I even like when Tarantino abandoned linear storytelling in Pulp Fiction.

…I just really hate this movie’s third act!

Yeah, I know!  I, someone who gave an overwhelmingly positive review to the third Human Centipede movie, doesn’t like the overblown violence of Kill Bill’s third act.

It’s not the violence I take issue with, obviously.  It’s that the film’s aesthetic sensibilities starts to dictate the action in a way I’m really not keen on.

Near the start, when Uma Thurman wakes up in the hospital, bites out that rapist’s tongue and then repeatedly slams that other rapist’s head in the door – that shit was great.  Why?  Because it showed her brutality, for one thing.  But it also showed her in a vulnerable position.  She couldn’t walk, and had no idea where she was.  All this and she had literally just realised she had lost her unborn child.  This was a great fucking scene because, in her vulnerability, we also saw her strength.

Later on, she does crazy impossible jumps and shit like she’s in the fucking Matrix.

I’m fine with characters exhibiting superhuman strength, speed, and fighting prowess, even if there’s no real explanation behind it.  What I’m less fine with is a character consistently shrugging off danger.

The bit with the spinny-ball-chain-girl would’ve been a great scene, since Uma Thurman was at a clear disadvantage and only got out of it due to quick thinking and a bit of luck – but then she dusts herself off and fights a fuckton of henchmen without even taking the time to catch her breath.  It had the chance to redeem itself in the final fight with Lucy Liu, but that fight was underwhelming as fuck.

I’ll be reviewing part 2 which, if I remember rightly, was a lot more grounded.  I feel like I’m gonna like that more.

I’m still giving this a 7.5, though, because it’s insanely well put together and well written.  I just…  I struggle to get by some shit.

 

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