This film is all about the final third – sure the rest of the film is great; stylish and entertaining with the anime sequence being a particular highlight, but the last section of the film has The Crazy 88, the 126.96.36.199’s, the beautiful garden sequence and then that ending line which I really love. If you haven’t seen the film and don’t know what I’m talking about, well then they are all superbly stylish/fun elements – heightened versions of the film’s general fabric which is always highly stylish and comic; it’s just a great example of a film having fun being fun and really not worrying about too much else. Sure it’s violent, and although I don’t have a problem with violence, that’s not what I’m out to enjoy in this film – it’s a big element of it, but it’s the attitude with which the film is approached and just how well it succeeds at being superbly entertaining, that is in itself additionally entertaining. At its core this is a simple revenge tale, told by a woman who loses everything, including her child, to a vicious attack from her former gang. Her story is simplistic, which is not a bad thing, and it is delivered to us with as much style and entertainment as it can muster.
For all the praise that I just heaped on the film, I actually wasn’t that blown away the first time I saw it, that was a while back but I can imagine, if not exactly recall, what my problem may have been. The Bride shows us her reason for this bloody revenge, and it is a very good reason, however from then on I didn’t perceive any further character development but was thrust right into the film’s grove and never allowed space to breathe. The tone of my review should indicate that my opinion has changed on this issue; partially because now that I am familiar with it, I have come to realise that you don’t need a high level of development in a film like this, but also after re-watching it I came to appreciate the fair level of development that actually is present, it’s just not shoved in your face, and obvious. I also know that I missed the endlessly quotable dialogue from Pulp Fiction – this is a movie where that quirky style would fit right in and although it has its moments, it never really matches its predecessor. It’s a shame but altogether a small criticism, it is after all a far less dialogue heavy film and when characters do speak, it’s still fun, albeit not as memorable.
If you need a reason to see Kill Bill beyond it being a great source of immediate entertainment, then yes you can look into the fact that it has a very powerful female cast and is important for that reason, its characters also deal with some pretty serious issues and it’s good to see those highlighted in such a film. These are interesting aspects and are of course a very valid reason to love it, but Kill Bill functions so well because it presents itself as just flat out entertainment. Bring those things to the table by all means, they are there, but it is more than able to entertain on its own surface level of blood, music and style. Ultimately it’s not Tarantino’s best but it sure is a hell of a fun way to spend some time.