Monday, January 20, 2014

Kill Bill (vols. 1 & 2)

After butchering her wedding party and leaving her inexplicably clinging to life, The Bride (Uma Thurman) seeks revenge on the colorful and treacherous members (Vivica A. Fox, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, and Michael Madsen) of her former hit squad led by the wily and enigmatic title sage (David Carradine). Quentin Tarantino's passion project, written with his leading lady then severed and distributed in two parts after the initial insane notion of showing it as a five hour roadshow, retains a lot of the fun it provided when first viewed, for me during a less discriminating time. Although much of this is egregiously over-the-top (the infamous Crazy 88 massacre all but takes you out of the film) and some scenes worked as self-contained bits but not within the context of the movie (the animated origin story of Liu's character for one), the movie soars when you let go and let it take over. So many scenes are remarkable (Liu's exit and the trailer park brouhaha are both knockouts), Carradine is unforgettable, and I liked how the picture slowed down a bit for its concluding halve. Thurman, while occasionally irksome, is most impressive while alternating between kicking ass and generating sympathy for her character.