Quentin Tarantino is probably most famous for his 1994 film, Pulp Fiction, only his second turn behind the camera. During the filming of that modern day classic, he and Uma Thurman hatched the idea of a Bride who wants to kill a chap called Bill. Throughout the shoot, Tarantino would chide Thurman with the future slogan: "Uma Thurman Will Kill Bill".
And so after a few years of solitary script writing, a pause for Uma Thurman to deliver a baby and regain her magnificent figure, filming on Kill Bill began – and at last the first half is here in cinemas for us to enjoy.
The plot of the film is that of a former assassin who wants to leave her gang of trained killers to start a new life with her fiancé and unborn baby. But on the day of her wedding, the rest of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad rock up to spoil her plans, by shooting her and everyone else at the wedding. The Bride (Uma Thurman), however, wakes up from a coma four years later, and is after revenge. She confronts members of her former band of assassins (including Lucy Liu and Daryl Hannah) in a series of violent and bloody samurai fights, in an attempt to get even for what they took from her.
However, the plot is not what makes this movie great. This film is one huge homage to the kung-fu movies of the 60's and 70's – unrealistic storyline included. What makes this movie great is everything we've come to expect from Tarantino films: a great soundtrack, dark yet brilliant humour, a new but respectful take on the genre, and, of course, extreme violence.
With Tarantino's unerring judgement, eye for detail, willingness to borrow ideas from other films and the fight choreography of Yuen Wo Ping (The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), the combat scenes of this film are as beautiful as they are shocking. Tarantino, though, is always quick to take the edge off with some of his trademark humour.
In short, I loved this film. However, for some, it will simply be too much – too violent, too rude, too unrealistic and too shocking. However, if you can handle it, I think you'll agree this is the finest film to grace our cinemas this year, and although there was some controversy over splitting the film into two volumes, I think the first part more than accounts for the price of your cinema ticket. I, for one, cannot wait to see Vol. 2.