Kill Bill: Vol. 1
d. Quentin Tarantino / 2003 / USA / 111 mins
Viewed on: BBC1 (UK)
An Open Letter to Quentin Tarantino:
I know much of what follows is old news, but I recently watched Kill Bill for the second time (the first volume at least) and I fell the need to tell you what I think.
Quentin, Quentin, Quentin…you sure know how to over-egg a pudding. I liked your first couple of films at the time, I can still sit through Reservoir Dogs, but I draw the line at re-watching Pulp Fiction. It’s a little like listening to a record you really really loved as a teenager, only to realise it was really just a steaming pile of turd. Unless it was Big Audio Dynamite, they just get better with age. But I digress…
I thought Jackie Brown was okay and although I wasn’t that enamored with Death Proof, I admired the concept at least. Hell, in the bitter crossfire that was general and critical reaction to Inglourious Basterds, I enjoyed it for precisely what it was, a rip-roaring, gory chucklefest. Nothing more, nothing less.
But I draw the line at Kill Bill. Forget all the hero worshipping this film brought you, because it’s all wrong. Anyone who told you this was a work of genius, from the fattest Weinstein to the skinniest over-eager teenager, was utterly, utterly wrong. Kill Bill is stupid. Worse than that, it’s lame.
I have to tell you something, the anime sequence wasn’t ‘cool’ as all the wannabe otaku’s would have you believe, it was pathetic. And what on Earth makes you think that people would rather watch your rather tiresome swordfights when they could just go an watch an authentic HK swords and sorcery epic? (On second thoughts, don’t answer that, people are stupid.)
Also, do you really expect audiences to believe that someone could kill a person and then spend thirteen hours…THIRTEEN HOURS, Quentin…sitting in that same person’s car – sorry, Pussy Wagon – wiggling her little pinkies until she felt able to drive. I’m sure the LAPD are inept, but they can’t be that bad, surely?
Plus, no right thinking person could feel empathy for The Bride. The assumption that she is avenging her unborn child starts to ring rather hollow when the bodycount starts reaching triple figures. She may have been pregnant, but she’s just a psychopath now. Speaking of which, you might think that this film empowers women, but it doesn’t. Just like you’re use of the ‘n’-word in your earlier films didn’t empower black people.
Oh, and tell me, have you seen Lady Snowblood? Or was it, like City on Fire after Reservoir Dogs, one you ‘just had to check out’?
Finally, I need to tell you something that I don’t think enough people do. You are not God’s gift to filmgoers. Sure, I don’t necessarily agree with those assessments that you’re just a video store geek who got lucky (that award would go to Kevin Smith, clearly) but you’re not ‘all that’ either. You’re films are okay. You hear me? Okay. And stop trying to fool us with that mystical bullshit about how you had your own private film festivals and watched almost every film that exists, and then try to tell us you hadn’t seen City on Fire.
Keep making films, by all means, but don’t encourage those hapless journalists who think you are the messiah, you aren’t. You’re not even a particularly naughty boy. You’re just a semi-talented guy who watched too many films and now can’t distinguish between what you’ve seen and what you’ve dreamed up all on your own.
NB: I don’t actually think QT will ever actually read this, hell I don’t even read the crap I write on here. But if he does: no offence QT, but we all have to learn from our mistakes some day.