Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
A woman scorned!

I have both Kill Bill films under my un-reviewed list of 250 films. Yeah, I’ve seen it before, but I’m pretty sure I’ve only actually seen it once…and honestly that’s a crying shame. As far as Quentin Tarantino goes, he makes these movies that I’m always unsure if I actually want to watch or not, and somehow, they’re always really good, but in the weirdest way possible. That makes him a genius filmmaker. I remember the first time I saw Quentin as the weird little dude who showed up in an episode or two of Alias, actually, and I had no idea he would go on to make things like this. Out of all of his films that I’ve actually watched, I’m not sure Kill Bill is his best movie all around, but it’s probably my personal favorite for so many reasons, both volumes, really. So let’s get into Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Uma Thurman stars in this film as the woman without a name. We’re just going to call her “The Bride”, because everyone else does. Way back when, for some reason or another – The Bride got married, which resulted in a massacre – nine dead. She was pregnant at the time, and was shot in the head by the infamous Bill himself. When she woke from the coma four years later, she was on full-vengeance mode. She wrote out a list of the people behind the attack on her life and basically just started killing them off one by one…anime graphic novel style. Or in short – basic Japanese vengeance plot.

This is one of the simplest, cliché plots that you can find out there, but with Tarantino flair, it becomes unique and original. That’s something I’m starting to realize with Tarantino. He keeps using these film techniques that I’m not a huge fan of and making them really, really cool. I will say that Pulp Fiction had more of these things, though, because the general rule of thumb is that I love very action-oriented martial arts films. Not only that, but adding that style of anime graphic novel stuff is just…iconic. Everyone knows what Kill Bill is.

I remember the first time, well only other time I saw this film, I liked everything but the gore. Well, not because it’s gory, but because the gore was just so darn fake, and obviously so. It hadn’t occurred to me at that point that…that was the point. It’s a beautiful film, and the gore is an addition to the art of the entire flick. While watching, I couldn’t help but think that the choreography may not technically be the best in martial arts, but it ranks highly on how awesome it honestly looks. How it is all stitched together is not something you’ll easily forget. If you have seen it once, you remember how it opens, and you remember all of the fights in almost completely vivid detail. It’s just really memorable. Tarantino also has an amazing sense of humor not commonly seen in any other comedy. His is dark, yes, but I usually have a hard time connecting with dark humor, and Tarantino just has that ability to click with his audience in that way. He’s basically a God at film.

Thing is, his work is never universally accepted. He’s got a bold style and doesn’t care who hates him for that. Almost every film of his has that ability to just have one person in the audience who just sits back and says, “Wow. Really? Was that necessary?” and while they sometimes make a valid point, I still have to join the others and say… “Yes. Yes it was very much necessary.” “Why?” “Because it was awesome. Sit down and shut up.”

The Good:

The style of Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is very colorful in its visuals and characters. The transitions and cuts between acts are very well done, and there’s very little to actually complain about. This is a very simple and solid plot that just swims in epicness and beauty. In my opinion, Tarantino outdid himself with this one.

The Bad:

If you sit down and really think about how complex the story is, you might be a little disappointed to see that the story itself could be written out within a good paragraph. While there is depth to how the film was made, there’s not so much depth with the characters or story. Then again, it was only supposed to be a simple, classic vengeance story to begin with…but some people like a challenge when they watch movies. Something that makes them really think. I don’t think Kill Bill has many of those moments, because the film’s title…is the entire plot of both movies. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Memorable Quote:

Because Tarantino recently spoke about the possibility of Kill Bill: Vol. 3, and what it is about – I provide you with a little teaser:

The Bride: It was not my intention to do this in front of you. For that I’m sorry. But you can take my word for it, your mother had it comin’. When you grow up, if you still feel raw about it, I’ll be waiting.


4 thoughts on “Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

  1. Such a fun movie. The Bride is one of most bad-ass females in movie history. And you’re right the whole thing is just gorgeous looking. As with every Tarantino flick, I love all the little things he references (steals?) from older movies. “Kill Bill” might not even exist if not for Bruce Lee and Sonny Chiba. Those that want a “challenging” film, get a little more of that in Vol. 2.


  2. It’s the type of movie I’d expect Tarantino to make. Shame he wasn’t able to get both volumes put together as one whole piece, but hey, at least both were fine to watch in their own rights. Good review Dave.


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