OK, you probably don’t care, but there are few films I’ve awaited in the past few years with the anticipation of Kill Bill (vol.1). Despite being unemployed and desperately poor, we hired a sitter and caught opening night at our local megaplex, for about the price of a pair of Broadway tickets (OK, the price of one off-broadway ticket).
Despite a few slow parts, the film definitely delivers. All the press you’ve read (well, that I’ve read) about Kill Bill is just about right on the money. The film is hyper-violent and hyper-stylized. One might carp that QT should have toned down some of the over-the-top moments, but overall I found in Kill Bill that which I find most satisfying in modern cinema: an original voice.
OK, well, maybe he’s not that original. As I’ve read (most notably by my favorite reviewer, Matt Zoller Seitz
Anyway, what I love about the film — besides the fact that it looks spectacular and sounds fabulous — is that every frame comes off as a personal voice. It’s not a film made by committee, like so many these days (how many times have you read “they changed this or that because it didn’t test well”). Harvey Weinstein gave QT full control over the movie, and it shows. Despite so much of it being borrowed, it’s all channeled through one guy.
That said, there are some disturbing elements of the film that make me uneasy. I’m not so keen on seeing beautiful young women scalped or spiked in the head. The film is more concerned with fashion and coolness than making narrative sense. That’s especially true for the violence, which ranges from funny to “cool” but never has “real” consequences. It’s kind of like a shoot-em-up video game.
Still, I was impressed.