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Critics Split on Tarantino’s Bloody ‘Kill Bill’
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Call it part homage, part parody, but brace yourself for nonstop severed feet, arms, heads, hatchets in foreheads and a sea of blood in Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, “Kill Bill.”
The martial arts extravaganza from the writer/director Tarantino, who shot to fame with gritty, violent films like “Reservoir Dogs” (1992) and “Pulp Fiction” (1994), is his first movie in six years.
Tarantino sees “Kill Bill” as a salute to the martial arts movies of his youth and his notion of “girl power.” The film stars Uma Thurman as a betrayed female assassin awakening from a four-year coma to seek revenge on an elite band of assassins that slaughtered her wedding party and gave her up for dead.
The marathon blood-letting, which takes classic kung fu film carnage to the level of parody, has divided critics. One reviewer in Business Week noted that the movie “sends more separated arms and legs to the floor than Hollywood usually does in a year. It left me cold.”
The Hollywood Reporter had a different verdict on the film, which it praised as “hugely watchable with jaw-droppingly kinetic fight scenes.”
While film aficionados might revel in the directorial artistry, the masterful martial arts displays, the break-neck pacing, the stomach-turning sound effects and off-beat soundtrack, when all the gore is stripped away, there’s not much left.
“‘Kill Bill’ is what’s formally known as decadence and commonly known as crap,” the New Yorker magazine said of the movie, which has its New York premiere on Tuesday and opens nationally on Friday.
Like it or hate it, more is on the way. The film, which ran over budget and over running-time targets, has been edited into two films. “Kill Bill: Volume 2” is slated for release in February in the longest movie intermission in memory.
Tarantino, who won an Oscar for the “Pulp Fiction” screenplay, calls the movie, also starring Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah and Vivica A. Fox, the “ultimate girl power” movie.
“I actually want 13-year-old girls to see this movie,” he told Reuters Television. “I think this will be very empowering for them.”
But with an R rating, meaning adults must accompany those under 17, young girls might not be able to see it.
Hannah also sees the film as empowering to women. “All of the women are warriors and they’re not girlie warriors. They’re just tough. They’re just as tough as a guy would be.”