I still think it’s notable that Quentin Tarantino commands as much mastery and millions given that this is his fourth film. Granted, he’s had a definite hand in other films such as Natural Born Killers but I just think it’s weird he’s considered such a big name when he hasn’t even started to really build his canon. I’m not doubting or dissing his talent – just noting that he hasn’t really built the status he seems to have (at least not yet…).
Kill Bill is a triumph of style, editing and combat. It has the same clean concept that Run Lola Run has – you can boil the entire movie down to one sentence and the movie rides on that premise successfully. I won’t pretend to even begin to know any of the references in style and frame that Tarantino pays homage to – but his talent for creating an alternative universe where everyone is a badass is one of the greatest things about his films. You want to be a character in his movies because everyone is so cool and hot. Everything is fetishized – from a Japanese schoolgirl walking down a staircase (swinging a morningstar) to Lucy Liu taking off her slippers in white snow – every move, look and blink of an eye is styled to the hilt. The anime sequence being the culmination of this.
The one thing I realized watching this movie is how to use music to ‘reset’ a scene’s pacing. The combat sequences are long and extended and contain multiple pyramids of escalation and pacing and I really started noticing how allowing a breather and then re-ratcheting with a new soundtrack in a different style helps keep the scene refreshed.
Tarantino’s ear for dialogue – a contrived set of grammar and slang – also remains and lets air breathe between sequences. I liken this movie a bit to the Charlie’s Angels movies because they both build, exploit, deviate and then discard styles and idioms left and right. And who knew Darryl Hannah was still all that.
All that said – I thought the movie lacked heart. Or soul. The technique was expert and a delight – but I thought there was something missing. Ron thought it was sort of boring. I liked it, understood why people go nuts over it but I’m keeping my nuts to myself this time.
(note: haven’t seen Volume 2 yet – please don’t leave any spoilers!!!)