Yesterday was my birthday and it just so happens that the Alamo Drafthouse read my mind and showed Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Kill Bill: Vol. 2. Now, obviously, because I am an intelligent and sane person, I have seen both movies before, and many times. The whole Kill Bill saga is one of my favorites.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 has a surplus of something not easily found: totally badass women. The first scene between The Bride (Uma Thurman) and Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox) gets everything going and never really stops until Vol. 1 itself stops. It’s women killing men, women killing other women, all for the sake of vengeance. Yes, there is a man in the middle of it all, but what it comes down to is a woman getting revenge for the murders of her loved ones, including, presumably, her unborn child. It’s hard not to get behind revenge like that.
Kill Bill Vol. 1 was released in the heart of my high school Bruce Lee obsession, which made me love Kill Bill even more. The beauty and goofiness of some of the fight scenes owe a lot to Bruce Lee, as referenced by The Bride’s yellow jumpsuit, similar to the one Bruce Lee wore in Game of Death. I watched Bruce Lee’s movies in both awe in sadness, knowing that he was dead and wouldn’t make anything else. I watched Kill Bill Vol. 1 in awe and excitement, because not only was a woman dishing out cold revenge, but this was only the beginning.
My favorite character in Kill Bill Vol. 1, besides The Bride, would have to be O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu). Although her origin story in anime is my least favorite sequence of the whole Kill Bill story, O-Ren is unbelievably cool. Her reaction to The Bride coming for her is both unsurprised and nervous. When The Bride chops off Sofie Fatale’s (Julie Dreyfus) arm, O-Ren is visibly shocked, but quickly assesses the seriousness of the situation and keeps her cool. Even at the last showdown between The Bride and O-Ren, knowing that The Bride has murdered everyone that was supposed to protect O-Ren, O-Ren is calm and collected, even when The Bride scalps her and she falls to her death. And fighting in traditional Japanese garb? Pretty goddamn cool.
Good, bloody, Tarantino fun.