Last night I saw Kill Bill Vol. 2 (review) and I’ve been sitting here thinking about Volume 1 all day and decided I should probably write a review for it, since I’m pretty much obsessed with it.
Volume 1 is far from a perfect movie, but perfect for someone like me. A lot of people complained about my coverage of Volume 1 on B-D, but why wouldn’t I cover a movie that’s so bloody and disgusting? Everytime I watch Volume 1, I get the same feelings for it that I had when I initially watched it- when am I going to have time to watch it again? Quentin Tarantino has created a masterpiece, and seeing Volume 2 has only made the experience of Volume 1 that much better. The only thing Tarantino missed, which could have made Volume 1 even better, was the back-story on Vivicia A. Fox’s character, Copperhead.
Rarely does a movie come out that makes you smile, and even more rare is a movie that makes the smile so big, it would take a kick in the nuts to make you frown. I wanted to stand up and give Tarantino an ovation after Volume 1– every single time I’ve seen it. Volume 1 is filled with stunning camera work, colorful visuals, amazing characters and oceans of blood. The action sequences were better than anything I’ve seen in years, the only movie that could possibly compare is the Japanese zombie flick Versus.
The story in Volume 1 is a favorite place critics have been attacking, and I agree with them. Unlike Volume 2, the story is so simple, only Robert Rodriquez’s Desperado could compare to it. The Bride and everyone in attendance at a church appears to have been gunned down by a group the Bride used to belong to. Before she goes into a coma, she tells Bill that the baby she is about to have is his. She awakens from the coma four years later, finds her baby is gone (dead?) and seeks revenge on the Deadly Viper Squad. She gets her hands on two member in Volume 1, Copperhead and O-Ren Ishi. It’s a simple revenge plot, and it works with the tone of the film.
Because the plot is so simple, Tarantino can focus on giving the viewers more action, because there is no story to build.
the movie opens with a brutal battle, and ends with one of the most sensual battles ever assembled on screen. Tarantino was obviously influenced, because the Japanese overtones are everywhere. The buckets of blood splirting out of open wounds, the discussions about “honor” and “heritage”, down to the actual fight sequences themselves were Japanese influenced- there is even an animated scene, where we get a little history about O-Ren. In my opinion, Japanese film in the past decade has surpassed US film in originality and quality and Tarantino recognized this years ago, and has transformed himself into a Asian filmmaker. He combines a US budget with the Japanese camerawork and style of the great Takashi Miike and Ryuhei Kitamura.
The fight sequence at the end of Volume 1 is so good, that every fight in Volume 2 seemed disappointing. The fight between O-Ren and the Bride is the greatest battle to ever hit the big screen. The Tarantino-like soundtrack blaring, while two Japanese sword experts battle it out till the death in a snow-covered arena. By the time the film ends, you’re begging for more, and yet at the same time you feel totally satisfied with what you’ve seen- do you really even care about Volume 2 anymore? But after you see the second half, Kill Bill as a whole is a triumph, a legend- it’s simply “epic”. It’ll be years before anything compares to this film, as a matter of fact, it could be never…
If you haven’t purchased Volume 1 yet, go to the top of the page and buy it. If you have the money, and a all region DVD player, I recommend going to Amazons Japan site and buying it there, because that version is uncut and in all color- but it’ll run you around $45.