Written / Directed: Quentin Tarantino
Staring: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah,
Vivica A. Fox
Tarantino Takes a Sensitive Look At Carnage and Ass
is a hard review to write. I hate it when movies use promotional
quotes like "Adrenaline pumping," or call their
film a "roller-coaster ride," or debase all incarnations
of the afterlife with such drivel as "kung-fu heaven!"
When I heard that Tarantino was making another movie I
thought it was a mistake. Five years ago, when Jackie Brown
finished up its run, he should have stopped. He should have
shaved his head, donned an orange dress, run off to Tibet
and joined the brotherhood. He should have let his name
go down in the annals of cinema as the guy who changed the
face of movies and then very wisely stepped aside and never
let his name get dirty by making anything terrible (Four
Rooms doesn't count).
But he didn't.
When I heard that the new movie, Kill Bill, was about a
woman's quest to kill the guy who murdered all her loved
ones on her wedding day, I was concerned. When I then heard
that he was splitting the movie up into two parts rather
than editing it down to one, and that the parts were being
called Volumes 1 and 2 instead of part 1 and part 2, I was
even more worried. Worried that this guy's ego, which was
never truly in check from the get-go, was out of control
with no one to stop it.
It is. The ego which once manifested itself as a bit part
in Reservoir Dogs, is now an all encompassing directorial
mantle. If this guy used to have a reputation for being
an asshole before, just wait till you see what he does now.
His ego rears its head throughout. For example, Instead
of just saying "A film by Quentin Tarantino" in
the titles, it says "THE FOURTH FILM BY QUENTIN TARRINTINO"
as if to remind us that even though we might hate this movie,
there are three others before it that we liked. Or that
The Bride's (Uma Thurman) real name is bleeped out anytime
it's spoken for no apparent reason; it all smacks of a head
swelled near the point of bursting. The movie feels far
more important than it is.
As the title subtly hints at, in order to succeed, Thurman
has to "kill Bill" (by "Kill" we mean
kick the ass of kung-fu style for about 20 minutes before
delivering one final fatal blow that should have been dealt
at the very beginning. By "Bill" we mean David
Carredine). In order to do that she first must fight her
way through all of Bill's minions. And so we have a movie
with all the plot of Mortal Kombat (the video game, not
the film). The characters are a little deeper than MK's
Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Liu Kang or that guy who can steal your
soul, but as you watch the movie you keep expecting some
menacing voice to come in over the action with a deep and
booming "FINISH HIM."
That all being said, it's a pretty sweet flick replete
with over saturated colors, brilliant sets, tight action
sequences, a wry sense of humor, everything. It feels like
a Tarantino movie through and through. It tops the charts
of violence and blood and carnage and action. Not like the
Matrix 2, however, where the action is so big it's pointless
and stupid. This is a kung-fu movie, through and through,
with very few obvious CGI effects. The violence and blood
are so constant that they become hilarious. Even if you're
squeamish around blood, you'll be laughing at this movie.
One Adrenaline Pumping Roller-coaster Ride Through Kung-fu
One Sagging Face Lift
Uma is starting to look pretty damn tired. Her character,
BLEEEP, has been in a coma for four years, and maybe it's
just the make-up guys trying to be realistic, but she sure
does look it.
Three Hipsters Who Used to be Film Buffs
I'm not sure what important message Tarantino is saying
with Kill Bill, but it's damn fun. It lacks the depth of
character of Jackie Brown had, and the depth of story of
Pulp Fiction, but it's the best big budget movie to come
out in a very long time. And I'm pretty excited for the
next ego driven action extravaganza of a chapter