Tarantino’s Kill Bill knocks ’em dead

Carrie Cleaveland

Top Gun made us want to fly fighter planes.Ocean’s Eleven made us want to rob casinos.

Kill Bill will make us want to become assassins.

Once a member of the elusive Bill’s team of assassins, Uma Thurman is beaten and shot in the head at her own wedding by Bill’s group for yet-to-be-disclosed reasons.

After waking from her four-year coma, she seeks revenge, attacking the other assassins one by one in order to get to Bill himself.

Despite this remarkably simple plot, Tarantino is able to weave a story that never becomes tiresome or even predictable. Even though the audience knows that ultimately Thurman will kill her targets, including Bill, this foreseeable conclusion does not limit the progression of the film in any way.

It is impossible to predict any of the edge-of-your seat theatrics that accompany the fight sequences, or even the specifics of their conclusions. Entire limbs fly left and right, and impossible amounts of blood spurt from the stubs. The violence is absurd, but then again it’s meant to be.

Uma Thurman is fantastic as the film’s main character, known only as “The Bride” or by her code name, Black Mamba. Though at times taciturn, she is nevertheless able to say more with a sidelong glance than her compatriots can in several words.

Lucy Liu is likewise memorable and entertaining as the deadly head of the Japanese mafia, as she deftly sheds her goody-goody Charlie’s Angels persona.

Aside from Thurman, the film’s greatest asset is its director’s comfort in using a variety of cinematic techniques to tell the story.

Tarantino uses his characteristic split-screen and switches between black and white and color with (literally) the blink of an eye.

He even quite effectively incorporates anime (Japanese animation) to tell the back-story of O-Ren Ishii (Liu), leader of the Japanese mafia and another of Bill’s former assassins.

The second volume of Kill Bill is expected out in early 2004. I’m sure I won’t be the only one eagerly anticipating its release. A