I have been trying to go to sleep for the past 3 hours without success. I finally just decided that if my body is going to reject the need to sleep today, then I might as well be somewhat productive and work on today’s blog until I pass out from exhaustion or have to go to work. So today’s movie is one of those movies that had everyone talking about it back in the day. Unfortunately for me, I did not get to see this in theaters due to a lack of interest on my wife’s part. In fact, I actually wound up watching the second movie before I watched this one. But since I own them both now, I’m going to go ahead and watch them in order so let’s get right into today’s movie, Kill Bill: Vol, 1.
The plot: A woman in a wedding dress, The Bride, is lying wounded and bleeding on the floor of a church when she is approached by a man named Bill. After Bill talks to the woman for a while, he shoots her, but not before she tells him that she is carrying his baby. Some time later, The Bride shows up at the house of Vernita Green, a former teammate of The Bride’s in the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, and one of the people that attacked her in the church. The two women begin fighting through out the house but stop when a school bus drops off Vernita’s daughter and, after Vernita sends her daughter to her room, the two women head to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. Agreeing to Vernita’s request that they night continue fighting in front of her daughter, The Bride agrees to meet her later that night to settle things but when Vernita tries to kill her with a gun hidden in a box of cereal, The Bride throws a knife into her chest, killing her. Finding Vernita’s daughter staring at her, The Bride tells the young girl that when she grows up and if she still wants revenge, to come find her, then she goes out to her car, where she crosses off Vernita’s name from a list, a list which already has one name crossed off. The movie then flashes back to 4 and 1/2 years earlier, where the police have arrived at the scene of a massacre at a church in El Paso. As the sheriff examines the bride, she spits out some blood, letting them know that she is still alive. That night, Elle Driver, a woman with an eyepatch, whistles a tune as she enters the hospital where The Bride is located, changes into a nurses uniform, then prepares a syringe before entering The Bride’s room. Just before she plunges the syringe into The Bride’s iv, Elle receives a call from Bill, who tells her to abort the mission, much to Elle’s displeasure. Four years later, The Bride regains consciousness and, remembering what had happened, she realizes that she has lost her baby and cries out. Hearing somebody coming, The Bride pretends to be asleep as an orderly comes in accompanied by another man. The orderly had apparently been charging people to have sex with The Bride while she was comatose but the latest client learns to his misfortune that she is awake and pissed off, as proven when she bites off his tongue. The Bride tries to get off the bed but realizes that the muscles in her legs will no longer support her so she crawls over to the dead man, retrieves a knife from him, and waits by the door for the orderly to return. When the orderly comes in, The Bride slices his achilles tendon and slams the door into his head while questioning him about Bill, but then she has memories about what the orderly, Buck, did to her and she kills him with the door. Stealing Buck’s keys and scrubs, The Bride uses a wheelchair to head down to the garage, where she locates Buck’s car and after getting inside, she begins working on getting her legs to work again, starting by wiggling her big toe. As The Bride works on this, she decides to get revenge on the people who did this to her, starting with O-Ren Ishii, who is now the leader of Tokyo’s Yakuza. The Bride then tells the origin of O-Ren, starting with the fact that O-Ren had witnessed the murder of her parents by the Yakuza when she was nine. Two years later, she killed the Yakuza boss that had killed her parents then became one of the top assassins in the world by age 20. Back to The Bride, after finally becoming able to walk, she heads to the airport and books a flight to Okinawa. When she arrives there, she goes to a sushi shop where she seeks out a man named Hattori Hanzo, a legendary swordsmith. She asks him to forge her a sword but he initially refuses, haven taken a blood oath to never forge another instrument of death again, but when she tells him that she plans to kill Bill, his former student, he agrees to forge his finest sword for her. After receiving the sword, the bride goes after O-Ren, tracking her down to a nightclub in Tokyo. The Bride grabs, Sofie Fatale, O-Ren’s assistant, and calls out O-Ren. When O-Ren appears, The Bride cuts off the Sofie’s arm, causing the club patrons to flee. O-Ren sends her men to kill The Bride but the Bride kills all of them. The Bride then faces off with Gogo Yubari, O-Ren’s sadistic schoolgirl bodyguard. who nearly manages to strangle The Bride with her ball and chain, but The Bride is able to kill her. The Bride then prepares to face O-Ren, when the rest of O-Ren’s army, The Crazy 88’s arrive. The Bride battles her way through the entire army, killing most and maiming the rest. After telling Sofie to stay put, The Bride heads up to the roof, where she faces off with O-Ren in the rooftop garden. Already tired from her earlier battles, The Bride winds up being slashed across the back by O-Ren’s sword, but as O-Ren goes for the killing stroke, The bride is able to counter and slashes O-Ren across the stomach. As the two clash in a final attack, The Bride succeeds in killing O-Ren by slicing the top of her skull off. After torturing Sofie to find out where the other members of the Deadly Vipers are, The Bride sends Sofie tumbling down a hill in front of a hospital, wanting her alive in order to give Bill a message. At the hospital, Bill speaks with Sofie and asks her if The Bride is aware that her daughter is still alive.
Kill Bill: Vol, 1 was well received by the critics, earning an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus among the critics was, “Kill Bill is nothing more than a highly stylized revenge flick. But what style!” The movie was originally intended to be released as one feature, but with a run time of almost 4 hours, Tarantino decided to split the movie into two parts. The movie was a box office success, earning over $180 million off a $30 million budget. Uma Thurman would receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress and Empire Magazine ranked The Bride at 66 in their list of 100 Greatest Movie Characters.
This is a fantastic movie to watch. Uma Thurman did a phenomenal job as The Bride and Vivica A. Fox, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, and Sonny Chiba were also good, despite the brief appearance that they had. The writing was some of Tarantino’s best and the only flaw I saw was that you could tell this was meant to be one complete movie as the way it ends as, while it obviously sets up for a second movie, the movie just kind of stops, albeit on a cliffhanger. The fight scenes were well coordinated and even though the fight with the Crazy 88’s was ridiculously over the top, they did a good job choreographing a fight with that many people. A great movie to watch but you really should make sure you have the time to watch both parts together.
Rating: 4 out of 5