Kill Bill - Volume 1 Quentin Tarantino 2003

"The Film So Redundant, They Made it Twice"
I'm going to be honest here and say that the only reason I'm even reviewing this is because I could simply not bring myself to sit through "House of the Dead". There. You got me.

Uma jumps. Uma swings. Uma cusses. Uma speaks in broken English (why? not sure.). Uma drives a truck called the Pussy Wagon and shrmmaaanaabarORo nfnl.

Whoops. Fell asleep again. Even thinking about this movie bores me. And thinking about the second "Volume" bores me, even though I haven't seen it yet. I'm bored at the prospect of being bored by it, and even having to think that out bored me as well. You're probably bored reading this. So I'll move on...

In his FOURTH FILM (whoo-hoo, Quent), Tarantino rips off even more films from even more countries and afterwards pats himself on the back with an army's worth of dismembered prosthetic limbs. We've got Samurai. We've got Kung-Fu. We've got Giallo (not that half the people in America know what the fuck giallo is anyway, so there's a lost reference, Q-Man). We've got pretty people beating each other up, which really should be fun. In the end, though, Tarantino has basically set up a United Nations of Benneton ad with lots of fake blood and narrative trickery to keep us from noticing that these are the same people who sell us cosmetics and tampons that happen to now be flying through the air and bouncing off bodies. It's the purest commercial dreck that I think I've seen this year, and it's all the more awful because it's coming from someone who claims to support the genres that he's raping, burning, and pissing on.

Alright, alright, the story. A woman gets shot at her wedding by her ex-posse, and after 4 years in a coma (They let her live, on principle. Although gunning down someone on her wedding is apparently okay, by the same principle.) she wakes up and goes to kill them all, although not in order, because this would be too easy, so Quent has to rearrange things to keep us all on our toes! Hey buddy -- how's about giving us some characters to watch, eh? Maybe then you wouldn't have to keep resorting to these parlor tricks of yours. The characters are named after snakes, I think. And they're all baaaaaaaad.

So she kills them. End of story. Why were they after her in the first place? Dunno. Why did she leave the Death Squad? Dunno. Why was she porking Bill? Dunno. Quent even goes so far as to beep over her name whenever it is spoken, to add to her "mystery". Yawn. Yeah, man -- you did this before, with the suitcase that glowed. Remember how you never told us what was in it? Eh? Eh? Remember?

So here are the good points: Viveca Fox looks great and acts well, and her fight with Uma is pretty intense. Were it not for some atrocious dialogue that she's forced to speak, she'd get off scot-free. Michael Madsen phones in his line from a rehab clinic in Palm Springs. Darryl Hannah looks great with an eyepatch, but who doesn't? Carradine thankfully never shows his mummefied mug on-screen. Lucy Liu once again suffers admirably through yet another cold dragon-lady role, and again I think she's better than that (have you seen "Charlie's Angels"? She's funny! And she doesn't have to wear a Kimono!). The anime segment, besides being wholly out-of-place, is standard "quivering-wet-eyes-and-slo-mo-blood-splatter" stuff -- rent "A Perfect Blue" if you want to see this kind of thing drawn around actual characters.

And Uma. Uma, Ooma, Uhma. What can I say -- of late you've pretty much redefined yourself as a versatile, challenging actress. No more "Vatel" and "A Month in the Country" catflap, please -- let's stick with the "Hysterical Blindness" and, yes, even the "Kill Bill" Uma. She's strong, sexy, and multifaceted, and holds her own against great actors like Gena Rowlands (in "Blindness") or gallons of blood and prominent non-diagetic pop music. Maybe Ethan jumped ship, but the Newma doesn't need him -- she doesn't need anything but a Pussy Wagon and a dream. Let's hope that, if for nothing else, "Kill Bill" has put one of our most underrated and untapped young actresses back in the game.

And for that, and that alone, I just may see the sequel.

Rating (out of 5):