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The Whole Bloody Affair
on 23 January 2005
Before I commence to review these movies, may I first clarify that I would not particularly suggest purchasing this box set. On the site, it is actually cheaper to buy the two films separately, this set is simply the first two bundled in a cardboard box. Simply, I found this to be the most appropriate outlet to express my views of both volumes.
The first volume of Kill Bill is an exhilerating rush. Set through five chapters, we follow the Bride as she pursues the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad whose attempts to eliminate her at her wedding five years previously failed. This film is a mix, with two chapters of action, two of more subdued thrills and another of Japanese 'anime' animation. This combination works well making this a pleasurable movie going experience. Uma Thurman is a wonderful actress and Lucy Liu's O-Ren Ishii is a very interesting character. On its own, this film stands well, although there is a feeling of emptiness towards the end; something is missing. Of course, that something is the second volume. As a separate film, I would give this three and a half stars.
The second volume is a whole different experience. In the final five chapters (6-10) The action of the first is dropped (to a certain extent) and the film concentrates more on Tarantino's signature dialogue which although humorous and intelligent does not wholly redeem this film which is not a success on its own. Those who have not seen the original will most likely be confused. However, the ending is worth waiting for, even if the 'apocalyptic' final battle lasts little longer than five seconds. Daryll Hannah's exceptional performance may be the strongest reason to watch it by itself. Two and a half stars.
HOWEVER, when put together as a four-and-a-bit hours marathon this film is beautiful. The action of the first volume compliments the calm second perfectly, with an appropriate combination of spaghetti western and kung-fu movies in the whole shebang. I would suggest watching both in one go, without breaks, in order to fully appreciate this exceptional duo.
Buy the movies separately, and wait for the extras-packed boxset Tarantino has promised us all.
And to think, Tarantino originally said that the whole thing could be done in ninety minutes...