Anthony's Film Review

Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)

A bloody, yet brilliant, masterpiece by Quentin Tarantino...

Kill Bill: Volume 1 was actually my first introduction to Quentin Tarantino as a film director. I had already known about his other films, including Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, but what got me interested in this one is the film's tribute to martial arts films and the fact that this was listed in the Internet Movie Database's Top 250 Movies list. Once I saw the trailer, I became much more curious about what could potentially be a really good film to watch. Not only was I not disappointed at all, but also pleasantly surprised at how awesome the whole thing was.

The story from beginning to end is simple: an unnamed Bride is slain at her wedding by her crime boss, Bill, and four other members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DiVAS). Upon waking up from a four-year coma, she embarks on her mission to hunt down all five of these killers. In this film, she only kills the first two people in her death list, but it is not just her journey that the story tells. We also learn about the early life of O-Ren Ishii, the first in the Bride's list, as well as the significance of swordmaker Hattori Hanzo.

What Quentin Tarantino is known for is paying homage to earlier films and various film genres. He has references to many old films, including Sonny Chiba's old show in Japan called "Kage no Gundan" ("Shadow Warriors" in the USA). As for different genres, the film's scenes borrow from Italian horror, spaghetti Western, and Japanese samurai films. My favorite scene in the film is the story of O-Ren, because I really admire how anime was chosen for this scene instead of live action.

Besides the plot, the characters are all memorable and likable, whether as an ally or an enemy of the Bride. Vivica A. Fox as Vernita Green and Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishii, the first two in the death list, deliver wonderful performances here. I also like Sonny Chiba as Hattori Hanzo and am amused that this is the same character from his old television show in Japan. There are brief appearances by the other three in the list of five: Elle Driver, Budd, and Bill. I liked these characters as well and could not wait to see them in Volume 2. And of course, Uma Thurman as the Bride really kicks butt.

Kill Bill: Volume 1 works very well for plenty of reasons. It is exciting to watch the action sequences, especially in the second half of the film. The dialogue is well written and creatively conceived instead of dull and boring. The characters, once again, are three-dimensional instead of cardboard creations. And there is a bit of humor here and there. Overall, I was swept away by this brilliant revenge epic and knew that I had to see Volume 2 to see the rest of the story. To this day, Quentin Tarantino now has a new fan: me.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Kill Bill: Volume 1, visit the Internet Movie Database.

In addition, check out my review of Kill Bill: Volume 2.


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