Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

A one-time assassin (Uma Thurman) tracks down her former colleagues, led by ex-lover Bill, and makes them pay for their attempt to murder her.

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“Fun and smart, but undeniably thin, the first instalment of Tarantino’s action epic is a fanboy fever dream.”
J. Hoberman, The Village Voice, 2003

Following the relatively restrained character drama Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill Vol. 1 marked Quentin Tarantino’s return to the ironic, stylised exuberance of 1994’s Pulp Fiction – and a reunion with one of that film’s stars, Uma Thurman. She plays The Bride, a former hired killer wreaking revenge on her old associates, who tried to kill her when she went straight.

Split into several chapters, the film is a mix of set-piece fight sequences – in which The Bride, clad in her distinctive yellow tracksuit, dispatches her former colleagues – and flashbacks revealing her criminal past, with an approach that makes stylistic reference to Japanese anime, Hong Kong martial-arts movies and spaghetti westerns.

Originally intending to make a single film of around four hours, Tarantino was persuaded by producer Harvey Weinstein to divide Kill Bill into two volumes; the release of Vol. 2 followed in 2004.

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