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Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)

June 4, 2009

7/10 Dead Extras

In honor of the late David Carradine, I’m going over the only movies I’ve ever seen him in. A fitting tribute to a good actor and one smooth mofo.

Kill Bill: Volume 1 is about an elite assassin, The Bride, who is put into a coma by her co-assassins and her boss, Bill, then wakes up years later and, not surprisingly, heads on out to kill Bill and the rest of the jerks who tried to snuff her out. As you might expect, this movie gets pretty violent. Scratch that, it gets extremely violent.

I first saw Kill Bill: Volume 1 with a group of friends on opening night when I was still in high school. I think I was just allowed to start seeing “R”-rated movies without mommy or daddy, so this was big for me. Maybe it was just the thrill of it or the added reactions that came from the packed theater, but seeing Kill Bill was the most fun I’ve ever had seeing a movie and it’s still high up on the list.

It’s a lot of fun, it’s got a lot of shock value to it, and the action scenes were unlike anything I’d ever seen. And I was really into The Matrix at that time, so that says a lot.

Since first seeing Kill Bill and watching it a couple more times over the past five years, it’s not as incredible as it once was, but it’s still a wild time and it’s still an great action movie. It’s not as good as Kill Bill: Volume 2, but then again, they’re both very different movies. Volume 1 establishes the story and the characters, but it’s more an about style over substance as the violence quickly goes from realistically graphic to over-the-top/borderline hilarious. Volume 2 places a greater emphasis on the story and character development, but tones down the non-stop action, even though it has the best fight scene of both movies.

It’s also written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. And if you’ve seen other movies of his, than you should know exactly what kind of movie you’re getting into; only now there’s less talking and more blood. But if you’ve never seen anything by Tarantino, then this movie is going to throw you for a loop. Go watch Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs before this anyway.

The writing and acting are good, but Tarantino’s done better. Then again, these are some hardcore roles for the women involved and they do a damn good job creating some great, coldblooded characters.

And like all Tarantino movies, Kill Bill is an exercise in cool, and this movie is cool as hell. Only this time it’s with kung-fu.

So if you’re looking for a great action movie where the limbs fly and the characters kick a silly amount of ass, then you just hit the jackpot, my friend. David Carradine (Bill) doesn’t really show up until Volume 2, but whatever. He’s still a badass.

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