How cool is Quentin Tarantino? Cool enough that he can release one-half of a movie in 2003 and still make it better than most of the whole movies shunted out that year.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1's undoubtedly as rewatchable as any of Tarantino's earlier work - - despite the criticisms that the build-up to the mass hack'n'slashery at the House Of The Blue Leaves is too dragged out. Not so: QT's too impressive a stylist to allow even a single scene to drag; who else could make a woman wiggling her toe so entertaining? His demolition-derby collision of influences (Manga, spaghetti Westerns, Samurai and Yakuza pics...) and his refusal to let realism get in the way of a good visual gag (the wonky aeroplane on strings, the Old Faithful-style blood geysering) ensures Vol.1's a junk-food feast for the senses.
The calm eye to Tarantino's style storm is, of course, Uma Thurman, offering up her most note-perfect performance since Pulp Fiction. Not bad for a role which requires little more than being a vengeance-fuelled killing machine, The Bride waking from a four-year coma to swipe her way through the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, Bill's team of lethal killers.
It didn't win her any awards, but who gives a damn? She looks far, far better with a blade than Tom Cruise ever could...