No, this movie is not for everyone. Yeah, there are a lot of foot shots in this movie (what else is new with Tarantino though?). As an avid Tarantino fan, I was hesitant to watch Kill Bill. It’s not because I cringed at the thought of spewing blood or violence, but rather its seemingly shallow narrative and plot. The twisted elements of storytelling in Inglorious Bastards and Pulp Fiction that I loved, seemed, from afar, lost on me in this film. Turns out, I was...sorta right and sorta wrong? 

The plot of Kill Bill is, in fact, nothing out of the ordinary. A former assassin known as The Bride (played by Umma Thurman) seeks revenge after waking up from a four-year coma, which was induced by her ex-husband’s attempt to kill her on their wedding day. However, it is the excruciating in-depth narrative of every major character in the movie, whether its The Bride or those on her hit list, that took me by pleasant surprise. It’s always a mistake to underestimate Tarantino’s story welding ability, by making even the most ridiculous of narratives and even purposefully horrible CGI, somewhat believable. Actually, I would say Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is an exception, but that’s for another time.

Like most of Tarantino’s films, Kill Bill is sexy. We all want to be Umma Thurman. We all want to be Lucy Liu. We even want to be Vivica Fox, who is only on screen for 10 minutes at the beginning of the film. Although these characters endure great pain and suffering, they have a superhero charm and precision that is admirable; who else can attempt murder while pouring cereal or delicately walk across a table while cleanly slicing a head, all in the blink of an eye?

However, the most encapsulating storyline for me was not that of the protagonist, but that of O-Ren Ishii (played by Lucy Liu). While Lucy Liu’s presence as O-Ren Ishii was certainly memorable, the graphic novel-esque depiction of Ishii’s terrifying childhood was of a different caricature. Although we are taught from a young age that seeking revenge is never the answer, Tarantino creates great empathy for a character whose childhood suffering has propelled her into a life of revenge: first, avenging the death of her parents, then, anyone who questions her authority. We have a deeper understanding of O-Ren Ishii, so much so that when it comes down to her duel with The Bride, we’re not sure who to root for.

If you’re looking for a greatly entertaining and captivating film that runs under two hours, Kill Bill is it. Try watching it with someone obsessed with martial arts and kung fu (Tao Xie)! That might be fun.

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