The first installment of an epic tale of revenge finds a woman, known only as The Bride, awake after a four-year coma, vowing to exact revenge on the team of assassins who left her for dead at the altar.
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I wish someone would put this much creativity and style into an erotic film instead of a violence film. Apparently, killing is what sells best at the box office. Humanity could have had so much potential if it had put all of its amazing energy into love instead of hate. Just imagine what kind of world we could be living in, instead of the one we have now, full of war and hatred.
As formalist, Tarantino makes a quantum leap here. His aesthetics, ripped from countless sources, now match the dynamism of his dialog. On the surface, his appropriation of images, sounds & iconography, define QT as a post-modern essayist: traversing cornerstones of revenge cinema to create a mediation 'on' rather than narrative 'about.' However, robbed of the contextualising introspection of Vol.2, it feels shallow.
Gives the impression that Tarantino is relieving years of creative blue balls, going nearly a decade between films. And what an explosion it is! The biggest display of his prowess as an action director and visualist, with his usual revelry in genre cinema at its most indulgent. The result is a pure delight despite its utter sadism.
Early Tarantino films (namely Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction) work in terms of situations, but his dialogues when broken apart from their setups are overwritten as a rambling cartoon, showboating the characters and his story rather than being purposeful. Vol. 1 falls into this trap too, but its fast-moving plot allows him to lessen the dialogue and connect it with extremely well-executed action scenes.
At times the mash-up of styles feels exciting and invigorating, but more often than not the film feels incoherent and boyish. Also, the use of songs like "Woo Hoo" by The Rock-A-Teens and "Nobody But Me" by The Human Beinz is trite and distracting.
I am surprised that many people don't get the ironic aspects of Tarantino's artificial staging of violence. Everything is over the top, and almost everything is also an embedded reference to film history. Like in other films the sequences are perfectly choreographed and cut to music. And if you regard the overall narrative structure with all its cuts, jumps and flashbacks you see that both parts are one unity.
I don't understanding the appeal of Tarantino. He is king of the hyper-macho ultra-violent movies. I can understand making 1 film about it. He's so goddamn repetitive. I think it's the satire aspect that appeals to MUBI. "This is not the thing, this is a satire of the thing. That's what makes it funny." It's hollow, but it's so goddamn American I want to shove a flag up my butt and sing 'God bless America'.
Uma Thurman gives an iconic performance as the Bride in this modern classic action film. Tarantino's multi-genre homage is chock full of incredible sequences aided by perfect casting and the extreme talents of d.p. Robert Richardson. Hard to pick the best sequence in vol. 1 but the tearoom battle royale is quite amazing. '...Revenge is never a straight line. It's a forest...it's easy to lose your way...'