I finally saw Kill Bill. I watched both parts back to back, as though it were the single movie originally intended. I was pretty disappointed.
Here’s the setup for the entire film: the bride and her wedding party have an assassination attempt made. Why? We don’t find out right away. That’s the mystery that for me supports the film. I waited intently for the resolution to that, and after 4 hours Bill’s answer was basically “I dunno.” There were no interesting onion-layers. There was almost no backstory. I didn’t really care about any of the characters because a) most of them don’t really show any character apart from “don’t I look cool…and deadly” and b) they’re obviously just obstacles on the way to Bill – 2-D obstacles. Lucy Liu’s character is given the most back-story, and yet her character seems to be the most two-dimensional. Michael Madsen’s had no backstory but seemed to have the most character. Curious.
I guess in my old age I’m caring less and less about on what interesting new way the bad guy gets impaled or beheaded, and more about characterization and plot. I was introduced to the main character and instinctively I am interested to know why she and her wedding party had an assassination attempt. I am curious about what she is going to do, and what she is going to say. Turns out the she doesn’t really say anything, and she only does one thing: kill people and react. I was more interested in things like: What does she eat? What does she read on the airplane? Why did she want to marry that guy?
The most interesting scene was the bride talking to the guy who made her sword. Now here we have some interesting characters; we have some dialogue; we have intimations made and a bit of humour to spice things up. Nice. Interesting.
The rest of the movie seemed conflicted. The bride doesn’t want to kill one lady in front of the lady’s little girl. And then she does. Madsen’s character says he deserves to die and doesn’t seem keen on killing the bride – and then that side of him is gone and he shoots the bride with a shotgun and buries her alive.
I was disappointed that I never really find out the relationship between Bill and all of his assassin-lackies. The dialogue was not up to the Tarantino precedent. In fact, it was all pretty insipid. Then I have the nit-picky stuff: the snake in the brief case; the truth serum; the anime-like gushing blood; the katana on the airplane. Sure, the fight scenes were everything they promised, but by the time Bill and the bride are sitting down for their head to head – I am worn out. I just want answers to my questions. What answers I get are either weak or conflicting.
Now that I’ve seen the film, I can finally read Kevin Murphy’s review: http://www.ayearatthemovies.com/reviews_10_07_03.htm