What do you think of when you hear the word “violence” in a film review? Is your initial opinion negative about it due to the impacts it could have on its audience? Or do you think that violence is entertaining and as such should be seen as a positive thing?
Personally, I have always been neutral about it. I can honestly say that I don’t enjoy violence, however when it is done right; especially in a revenge epic such as Kill Bill; it does send some strong messages our way. Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are cacophonies of violence, rage, and brutality while being an exploration of some of the deepest human emotions such as love, grief, and regrets.
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The Movie Review
The story follows the Bride as she wakes up from a coma in a hospital half-paralyzed and sexually abused by one of the hospital workers. It starts out with her absolutely destroying the rapist and then moving on to showcase us a little bit about her backstory of being a part of an Assassination Group of highly skilled individuals called Viper Squad. Consisting of Beatrix Kiddo aka Black Mamba (The bride), Vernita Green aka Copperhead, O-Ren Ishii aka Cottonmouth, Elle Driver aka California Mountain Snake, and Budd aka Sidewinder.
This squad was assembled by none other than, you guessed it; Bill… aka the Snake Charmer. When Beatrix Kiddo tries to leave the viper squad, to get married and make a life of her own; the Viper Squad crashes her wedding and kills every single civilian inside of it, leaving Beatrix for dead and killing the baby within her womb.
Quentin Tarantino’s signature style is prevalent here but it is way less contemporary Tarantino, this film was a bit of a switch for Tarantino’s uniqueness, as he made a film that consisted of way more scenes than ever before. Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds, The Hateful Eight, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are all films that consist of incredibly long scenes that are often focused on characters as they go through different moments in their stories. Kill Bill wasn’t that, instead of the characters being motivated by the scene, Uma Thurman’s character; The Bride was what motivated the scenes. Her strict control over each and every single sequence in the film is what made this film unique, as compared to the other Tarantino outings.
The film is divided into five different chapters, each showcasing a different aspect of Beatrix’s journey as she manhandles the camera completely to her own self. Now, it’s safe to say that the screenplay is insanely well written; with some incredibly realistic dialogues and monologues that would absolutely freeze the blood within your body. However, the best thing about Kill Bill is the blood-pumping, exhilarating amount of action that consists of so much blood that your eyes become senseless to the color of red.
This gore is prevalent in the massacre scene at the wedding where Beatrix is left for dead, however, in chapter five The Showdown at House of Blue Leaves is where Tarantino goes all out with the blood, limb dismemberment, and cinematic experimentation.
Beatrix’s revenge leads her all the way to Okinawa, to murder O-Ren Ishii, a member of the Viper Squad who was there at the wedding massacre. Now, seeing herself at the top of the Yakuza in Japan; O-Ren Ishii surrounds herself with hundreds of trained bodyguards. It’s safe to say that fountains of blood, limbs flying everywhere, a psychotic child with a medieval morning star weapon, ninja assassins, and a very angry woman seeking revenge for everything that happened to her would result in one of the most iconic moments in cinematic history.
Kill Bill Vol. 1 is a celebration of action, from the classic Samurai features by Akira Kurosawa to eighties action icons starring Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan to the absolute increase of splatter and violent gore in modern American cinema. Kill Bill Vol. 1 manages to tell a brilliant story centered on a woman’s revenge while being a film that is chock full of action and blood. There isn’t a single thing about this film that I personally can point out as negative, even the excessive amount of violence just works within the context.