Here is a movie that lives or dies on style alone.
The story is as simple as it gets, and makes no pretense about existing as anything other than a device to bring us gobs and gobs of sword play and one liners.
Uma Thurman is one pissed off Bride on a mission to skewer all the dirty SOBs who murdered her groom and left her for dead at the altar. There were so many aforementioned SOBs it turns out, that this process takes two movies to complete said revenge.
We even have the classic set up of the wise old sage swordmaker who presents our hero with the world’s deadliest and sharpest weapon to begin her quest.
Quentin Tarintino is at his most self indulgent here, basically making an old school kung-fu/samurai movie but instead of a horde of again men, we get mostly sexy ladies in tight leather outfits, or school girl get-ups. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.
The Bride wakes up from a coma completely paralyzed, a situation she manages to get out of merely by “focusing”, at which point she begins a quest for vengeance that includes pro-longed sword battles with the likes of Vivica A. Fox and Lucy Lui—whose characters were both part of the squad of assassins who committed the aforementioned atrocity against the Bride.
Visually, Tarintino is more than up to this challenge, as his stylistic direction and his much imitated way of writing dialogue make this movie as fun as most of his other ones as well. While I prefer the QT movies that actually invest in depth and character, I do not fault a movie that lacks it, as long as it does so consciously and makes up for it in some other manner.
This movie is basically QT playing in his sandbox with no pretense of a greater artistic purpose, and in that way it is kind of brilliant, and certainly a maniacal ball of fun. Some useless background info; my given name is William—most folks just call me Bill, and this movie came out on my 18th birthday, which amused me greatly at the time.
Kill Bill Volume 1 gets a four out of five: GREAT.