After a six-year hiatus, Quentin Tarantino returns to the director's chair with KILL BILL. The movie proves once again that he is a hyperactive visionary and the master of cinematic coolness. Split into two volumes by Miramax in order to ensure that Tarantino's vision would not be compromised (and presumably to sell more tickets), KILL BILL: VOL. 1 tells the first half of the sprawling story, which is quite simple at first glance. A female assassin, referred to as "The Bride" (Uma Thurman), is attacked on her wedding day. Dead are her soon-to-be husband and unborn child. However, she doesn't die. Four years later, she wakes up from a coma looking for revenge. Although her ultimate target is her former boss, Bill (David Carradine), it's quite clear that The Bride is saving the best for last. And before she can track him down, she must methodically take out the minions who ruined her life. VOLUME 1's targets include Vernita Green/Copperhead (Vivica A. Fox), Sofie Fatale (Julie Dreyfus), and the heartless O-Ren Ishii/Cottonmouth (Lucy Liu). Using a blessed sword handmade by Hattori Hanzo (Sonny Chiba), The Bride begins her relentless assault.Turning up the style and energy levels that he kept under a threshold with 1997's JACKIE BROWN, Tarantino's obvious glee and reverence for the underground kung fu action pictures of the '70s, and Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, makes for a stunning visual spectacle. Employing split screens, slow-motion, an anime sequence, and his trademark ultra-hip musical selections, Tarantino's film dares viewers to be unimpressed.
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"...It's a tale of vengeance that hinges on Tarantino's love of ferocity as spectacle..."
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman (10/17/2003)
"...Quite brilliant....It's all here: the sudden shifts of tone, the flip-flopping time structure, the supercool slo-mo, the exquisite humour, the pitch-perfect performances and, of course, the trademark dialogue..."
Total Film - Jamie Graham (11/01/2003)
"...In KILL BILL, Tarantino brings delicious sin back to movies -- the thrill you get from something down, dirty and dangerous..."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (10/30/2003)
"...There are some strong and diverse flavors, as well as vivid colors in the mix, all of them deftly reflected in the hip-hop artist RZA's clever, eclectic score..."
New York Times - A. O. Scott (10/10/2003)
"...Tarantino can glean excitement out of someone walking across a room....And he's funny..."
USA Today - Mike Clark (10/10/2003)
"...The ultimate film-geek freakout, a compendium of 1960s and 1970s cine-references..."
Los Angeles Times - Manohla Dargis (10/10/2003)
"...A strange, fun and densely textured work that gets better as it goes along..."
Variety - Todd McCarthy (09/29/2003)
"...This is a down-and-dirty kung fu picture..."
Sight and Sound - Kim Newman (12/01/2003)
"A new wrinkle on pastiche -- the first bona fide mainstream mix movie, and long live the director as DJ."
Film Comment - Film Comment Staff (01/01/2004)
4 stars out of 5 -- "KILL BILL offers many glimpses of Tarantino's maverick genius..."
Empire - William Thomas (01/01/2008)