Kill Bill: Volume 2|
Continuing the story-line which unfolded in Kill Bill Vol. I, this is the tale of an expert assassin, called The Bride, who sets out to wreak revenge upon her former employer, Bill, and other members... View more >
violence, language and brief drug use
Starring Uma Thurman, Vivica A. Fox, David Carradine... View more >
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A disclaimer: I am a Tarantino fan. "Pulp Fiction" is my favorite movie of all time, "Reservoir Dogs" ranks right up there, and I loved "Kill Bill, Vol. 1." If you don't like Tarantino, then you won't like this movie.
That said, "Vol. 2" feels like seeing an old friend after a long, long layover. It seems that "Vol. 1" was nothing more than a warm-up for the real show. In this second (and final) installment, we get the Tarantino-style dialogue, fully fleshed-out characters, and some very, very cool action scenes.
We start, in characteristic Tarantino style, back at the beginning of the story, then leap forward and then back even further to some very cool training sequences with the ancient martial arts master Pai Mei (think a sarcastic, ultra-hardcore Yoda). Of course, the movie eventually lives up to its (rather obvious) title, but not at all in the way one would expect. By the time we get to the end, Bill is a fully fleshed-out character and he has a very real relationship with the Bride. The final confrontation is verbal, more in the vein of Jules' last stand against Honey Bunny at the end of "Pulp Fiction" than the sword battle with O-Ren at the end of "Vol. 1." It's almost touching, something Tarantino is not known for.
Looking back on "Vol. 1," we can see the true scope of Tarantino's vision. In the first half, we root blindly for the Bride. She is that nameless superhero, the badass we wish we could be. "Vol. 2" eventually subverts her into an anti-hero, bringing her almost to the level Bill and the other assassins. By the end of the movie, we find it has been not about revenge but about honor.
The action sequences in "Vol. 2" are just as top-notch as those in the first, although none are nearly as drawn-out at the House of Blue Leaves sequence. We get a bone-crunching battle with the one-eyed Elle in a trailer (Budd, Michael Madsen's character, is killed by the Bride in a more transcendental way) which ends in such a hilarious, ironic, and satisfying fashion that it evoked cheers and applause from the crowd. Elle is the only truly evil character in all of "Kill Bill," and she definitely gets what she deserves. We also get some really really cool choreographed martial arts in the aforementioned Pai Mei sequences. And of course, the battle with Bill is more about wits and words than brawn, but it has a few starkly violent moments which are well-done.
The masterful thing about "Kill Bill" as a whole is the way it presents us with what we think are cardboard characters, so we root hard for what the Bride stands for in "Vol. 1," then we grow that much more attached to her cause in "Vol. 2" when she becomes a real person. The Bride's daughter, BB, provides the emotional centerpiece for the entire work, although she is (understandably) a little messed up when we finally meet her (when she wants to watch a movie, she requests "Samurai Assassins" rather than an expected kiddie movie like "Bambi"). "Vol 2" is alternately hilarious, thrilling, poignant, and (something never before seen in a Tarantino film) a little sad and touching. One thing it is not is boring.
All together, "Kill Bill" is the best action film I have ever seen. If Tarantino's epic is a work of pure ego, than may all directors be blessed with such an ego. **** out of 4. Wait, scratch that. ********* stars out of 4.
The passion of Quintin Tarantino continues into "Kill Bill, Volume Two." The the film is just as violent or fun as the first. Uma Thurman continues her role as the vegeancefull wife who is after those who killed her wedding party. The film opens with the massacre and from there the film just got better from there. Tarantino is one of the most important director to come along since Olsen Welles. This movie is a must see. To miss Part One is bad enough, but missing Part two is unforgivable.
This film may make my top 10 list, but it's unlikely.
Just as good as the first one.