Movie Review: Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 (2003 & 2004)
Quentin Tarantino is a director that feels a bit too trendy to say you enjoy if you’re a film critic or analyst. Yet, his films really work for me in almost every way. This review is going to be structured a bit differently because Kill Bill was the only Tarantino film I really didn’t like at all. I watch them during the three hurricanes in 2004 on my laptop when the power was out. It could be that I was 22, the medium in which I watched it, or my attempt to hate on something to be cool, but I didn’t like either one of these films. I was actually much harsher on the second one and the ending than I was with the first.
Kill Bill is much better than I remembered.
It turns out, that the film person I am now really connected with these this time around. The first one was watched merely an hour after I had nine teeth extracted out of my head and was still recovering from the sedation. Yet, the second one was watched today and I was only on minor pain medication. I definitely watched these films with a far less cynical lens this time around and appreciated what they were. Tarantino’s love of film is prevalent in all of his movies, and Kill Bill screams Kung Fu Feature.
I think the first one goes a bit over-the-top when The Bride (Uma Thurman) kills all of the Crazy 88s. Of course, that’s a Tarantino stylistic element in all of his films, but it does feel like it goes on for way too long. The second film has far less violence, although there are still some crazy scenes, and focuses more on telling the story. This is why it connected with me more than the first and more than the first viewing. I really enjoyed the dialogue and the character development in the volume 2.
There are of course some elements that won’t work for viewers even if you’re a Tarantino fan normally. Kung Fu movies are a bit ridiculous at times. David Carradine wasn’t the best actor, but he does a solid enough job in this movie. The two together are going to insight memories of the tv show and that nostalgia is going to be lost on some. However, there is enough of Tarantino in the film that if those elements don’t throw you off it is rather enjoyable.
I’d been putting off re-watching these movies for a while, but I’m glad that I finally did. They aren’t nearly as a bad as I initially deemed them. In fact, I really enjoy these movies and will likely watch them again at some point. They aren’t my favorite of his, but I no longer have to say I’m a fan with the exception of these two films. I give Kill Bill Volume 1 & 2 the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.