Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Running Time: 2:16
as The Bride
While nowhere near as violent as the first volume, Kill Bill Vol. 2 was a better movie, despite some dragging in parts.
Picking up where the last one left off, The Bride is continuing her revenge tour. Having dispatched of O-Ren Ishii and Vernita Green last time, she's left with three of the five people who gunned down her friends and almost killed her on her dress rehearsal day. First up is Budd, who is living in a trailer in the middle of nowhere and who manages to get the drop on The Bride. But, as we learn in a flashback, she's much more cunning then Budd gives her credit for. Then comes Elle Driver, the one-eyed marvel who may be the best match against The Bride. And lastly comes the man himself, Bill, who has one last surprise in store for our blushing Bride. Does she get her revenge against everyone? You'll have to watch to find out.
The two Kill Bill films truly are polar opposites. The first volume featured more blood than any movie I've ever seen. The fact that they had to go to black and white footage during the massive fight scene against the Crazy 88's is proof enough that there was a ton of blood. The second half of Quentin Tarantino's fourth film was much more poetic in nature. Yes, there was some violence, but mostly it dealt with the story. We finally got to see what actually happened in the El Paso Massacre. We learn more about The Bride's past, and her relationship with Bill. The story isn't linear, which allows us to see something, and immediately flash back to something that helps explain what just happened, or what will soon happen. The first volume set the stage, but didn't have a while lot as far as plot or story. The second one had it all and in that sense, was a better film.
I have to give props to the actors in this film. Tarantino does have a knack for bringing out the best in his crew. Daryl Hannah gave arguably the best performance of her life. David Carradine hasn't looked this good and years, and Uma Thurman rocked the entire way through. I kept waiting for some kind of crack in the acting armour, but never saw one. And thankfully, Tarantino kept himself out of the film, because while he's a great director, his acting kind of sucks.
The story flowed nicely as well. Like I said, it wasn't linear, so we would start with a flashback, then come to present day, then as things would happen, we'd flash back again to tell the backstory. The scenes with The Bride learning her skills with Pai Mei were classic Kung Fu homages, complete with camera work and funny, sharp dialogue. And Pai Mei playing with his beard constantly was a laugh riot. The entire scene where The Bride finally has her showdown with Elle was intense and brutal, with an ending that will either make you laugh, cheer, or throw up. I did the first two. A great fight with a great ending.
There were times however where the film felt slow. Tarantino does enjoy taking his time to build up to the action, and sometimes I could appreciate the slowness and conversation, especially when his camera work was interesting. When The Bride and Bill are talking in the beginning of the film, what they were talking about wasn't all that engaging, but watching the camera as it came closer and closer to each person as the conversation went on, watching as they physically stepped closer to each other until they were almost right on top of each other. That kind of thing kept my interest. But towards the end when The Bride and Bill meet for what may be the last time, that conversation wasn't as engaging because not much else was happening. Just two people sitting and talking. Albeit with a dart gun involved, but still.
Tarantino, to most people, took a step back from his greatness with the release of Jackie Brown, which was a critical fave, but a commercial disappointment. Personally, I thought the film was pretty good, if not what people expected from Tarantino in his follow up to the smash Pulp Fiction. With Kill Bill, taken either as whole or as two separate films, he manages to bring his commercial level back up, while still keeping critics happy. I can't wait for a director's cut of the two films, so I can watch them straight through.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I would definitely recommend seeing Kill Bill Vol. 2. The best thing about it is even if you never saw the first volume, you can still see this one and not feel like you're missing anything. Kill Bill, Volume 1 was the appetizer; Kill Bill Vol. 2 is the main course.
Kill Bill, Volume 1
(Limited Edition Collector's Set)
Special Limited Edition
Jackie Brown -
Miramax Collector's Edition
© 2004 Wolfpack Productions