Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller, Martial Arts  |   Release Date - Oct 10, 2003 (USA)  |   Run Time - 111 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1 is the work of a master filmmaker falling in love with directing all over again. After a layoff of six years, Tarantino pulls out all the stops to serve up an entertaining shot of action cinema. The film has momentum and an infectious sense of over-the-top fun that manifests itself in the various styles Tarantino employs. The anime section is brilliantly conceived and, quite frankly, live actors performing the story would have probably kept the film from getting an R rating. The same is true of the decision to film in black-and-white during the final battle. Had the splattering blood and flying limbs been presented in color, the ratings board would probably have balked. However, by choosing to shoot the sequence in black-and-white, Tarantino gets around that problem and forces the viewer to concentrate more on the choreography and the editing than the bloodshed. Judging this film is dicey, as it truly is nothing more than the first-half of a movie that was always intended to be a three-hour extravaganza. Kill Bill Vol. 2 hit theaters the following year and answered the question as to whether Vol. 1 was an emotionally empty exercise in (admittedly highly entertaining) style(s), or the first half of an epic that contained hidden depths of character and nuance.