|Tarantino's kung-fu homeage reviewed|
|speech is probably something to do with the martial arts masters being all quietly Zen, but this is foremost a visual film - Kill Bill is a fight film. A fight film to behold, too - especially considering its 'first-half' nature (not that references would ever be made to the disappointment after the matrix reloaded…). By his side, Tarantino has a good team of assistants, including the seminal and ubiquitous Yuen Woo-Ping on choreography, marking another notch on his belt of 'taking over Hollywood one huge film at a time'. Considering the level of combat Vol. 1 has, it is a big relief that the set pieces here are worth sticking around for (although when the second wave of O-Rishii's minions come in you do start to wonder when it's all going to end). Tarantino makes the scenes varied enough to keep us occupied by changing the scenery every so often, and there are some great pieces - the bride's (the only name by which we know Uma Therman) break-dance killing and Go-Go's (Chiaki Kuriyama from Battle Royale) swingy-ball routine. Interestingly enough though, the most memorable parts are actually the ones where there is no fighting: the bride's escape from hospital or the spine-tingling build-up to the Yakuza confrontation - one of his best cinematic moments, improving even on the reservoir dogs 'strut'. The music here is also pretty much exemplary; another of Tarantino's classic soundtrack choices, further boosted by some original music by Wu-tang's RZA (who earned his ninja stripes on Ghost Dog). |
Kill Bill is a film of excess in many ways: The gushing blood, the number of bodies from which it comes, and the incredible, deeply stylish form in which it is presented. Whilst it is hard to pass judgment on the package without the second volume (rumoured to be the one with the real "resonance"), Kill Bill Volume 1 does what it says on the posters - a rip-roaring rampage of revenge. It is technically fantastic, and all of its excessiveness allows it to stand up and backflip around on its own two feet. Bearing in mind the guy behind the helm, we can safely assume that the production values will be just as high for its sequel - so roll on, volume two.
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