The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

First volume fits ‘Bill’

It took a few more years and a few more millions of dollars than expected to complete “Kill Bill” and even at that only the first volume has been released.

So, was it worth it?

Writer and director Quentin Tarantino answers that question in the first 10 seconds, the first 10 minutes and continually throughout “Kill Bill: Vol. 1.”

The film transcends its setup as an homage to the kung-fu and samurai movies of Tarantino’s youth with an amazing amount of substance and a simply breath-taking movie to watch.

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There’s a good sense of what’s to come in the film’s first few seconds with parodies of the opening screens from ’70s movies and those deep, inspirational quotes meant to set a tone for the rest of the film.

And if that doesn’t disarm the audience enough, a brutal and brilliantly funny fight scene immediately kicks off the action proper.

“Kill Bill: Vol. 1” just keeps on coming after that. There are so many surprises and out-of-nowhere moments that it’s impossible to predict where the movie will go next.

Tarantino still keeps the story fairly non-linear, but the tale is fairly understandable. Four years after being left for dead and watching her groom and wedding party get killed by her former crime syndicate partners, The Bride (Uma Thurman) emerges from her coma looking for a lot of revenge.

While at the top of the list is her former boss Bill (the not-yet-seen David Carradine), there are plenty of others to get through. Volume one focuses on the retributions against her former partners Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox) and O-Ren Ishi (Lucy Liu).

This simple Spaghetti Western revenge by way of martial arts movie is taken to unbelievable levels by Tarantino. The scenes of The Bride’s recovery are an amazing sequence leading the audience from outrage to disgust to satisfaction in the span of a few minutes.

The following images of The Bride’s attempt to simply move are inspired and sickly entertaining.

And Tarantino’s fiddling with the conventions and standards of martial arts movies are enthralling. The film’s final 45 minutes consist of a seemingly unending series of martial arts battles that show how much fun Tarantino is having with “Kill Bill: Vol. 1.”

The laws of physics apply differently to everyone, weapons are always readily available and gallons and gallons of blood are shed during the sequence. But it’s not just any blood; it’s the cartoonishly excessive and over-the-top squirting of those no-budget Shaw Brothers films of his childhood. It’s simply gleefully violent and always fun, without being truly gory.

The movie is filled with those nods to the past in everything from clothes (The Bride’s fighting outfit being tailored after Bruce Lee’s in “Game of Death,” the Kato masks of Ishi’s Crazy 88 gang) to music (the “Green Hornet” theme) to actors (“Kung Fu’s” Carradine

as the ultimate evil and Japanese movie legend Sonny Chiba as a legendary swordmaker).

And Tarantino also gets to refer to himself in hi own ways. The Crazy 88 adopt the black suits and ties of “Reservoir Dogs,” Thurman draws her square yet again and “Pulp Fiction’s” fictional Fox Force Five get turned into Death List Five here.

But “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” is much more than a tribute to the films of the past, it’s a revolutionary movie on its own right. Tarantino gets all the little touches, such as the lengths he goes to in protecting The Bride’s name, and also larger ways, such as a wildly unpredictable anime sequence. And there’s plenty of fun camera tricks and a wonderful soundtrack.

Tarantino also get the most out of every actor in the movie. Liu does her best work as the energetically heartless Ishi and though only seen in the first volume for a few seconds, Daryl Hannah and Michael Madsen are fascinating in the movie. But this is Thurman’s movie and she carries it quite well.

With the non-stop action and humor, Thurman brings the substance to her character that is necessary to hold the movie together. The heart she shows while trying to walk after her coma and her classic lines after battles are just as memorable as any of the movie’s images.

“Kill Bill: Vol. 1″ simply needs to be experienced.

The constant violence and still dead-on humor is amazing to watch and the mix of everything in this movie is a wake-up call for American cinema.

The movie simply satisfies any kind of cinematic desire, all the way to a shocking cliffhanger for volume two, and showcases the unmatched imagination and execution of Tarantino.,”Matthew T. Olson”