April 20, 2004

Kill Bill, Volume 2

The second installment of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, doesn’t pick up entirely where we were left off in Volume 1. Instead we are treated to a look behind what happened on that fateful day during the Bride’s wedding. This film has a much different visual feel from the first installment (which lingered mostly around a glitsy and colorful Japan) keeping us in the dry and dusty western US. Yeehaw! Strap in for some more wonderfully choreographed fight scenes, and more over the top dialogue. Though released in two parts, I tried to enjoy this film as one complete piece. Regardless, any way you slice it, this story is wonderful.

Tarantino breaks out all the tricks, implementing a variety of screen ratios and camera trickery, while walking the oh so fine line between farce and homage to many of the films’ whose inspiration he wears on his sleeve. He periodically takes just enough time out here and there to wink at us, like when a TV in the background of a scene plays an old western movie. But, much to his efforts, it never feels overdone. Tarantino shows true mastery over his medium in what is now his best film(s). Yes, even more than Pulp Fiction.

This volume’s characters are just as slick and badass as the first’s. David Carradine’s Bill is brilliant; a villian so charasmatic and suave you can’t help but feel a bit bad for him in the end. We also find out how Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) lost her eye, how the bride got to be such a beat-ass, and what’s up with her kid—who also happened to survive the church shoot-up. The training scenes with Pei Mai (the wonderful veteran Gordon Liu, dubbed by Tarantino himself) are worth the price of admission… and now I think I need to grow a Fu Manchu.

Just like Volume 1, there is a lot of dialogue to digest, luckily it is every bit rife with thick wordplay and slick profundity that it just doesn’t seem to get old. I found myself hanging on most every word, and that’s the way I like it. Tarantino’s colorful characters flourish in every line of it. You just don’t see pictures like this today, waist deep in style and substance.

I can’t wait for the DVD set for this series to be released. I want cut scenes, training scenes, and commentary. Tarantino can be kind of annoying in interviews, but he does know his shit, and I respect the hell out of that.

I have heard talk of there being a forthcoming third part to this story… one in which Vernita Green’s (Vivica A. Fox) daughter seeks revenge on the bride or some such nonsense. I truly hope this is not the case. Leave it, don’t dwell.

Also, if you are still reeling from the first installment, I found this bloody game on the Czech Kill Bill website the other day. Become the Bride and hack up all the Crazy 88’s in “Nevesta” vs. Crazy 88!

Commentary (3):

1. Stu says… apr 21, 2004 | 3:53 am

Thanks for the link to that game.

I definately agree with you, Jason — Kill Bill is really meant to be enjoyed as one complete film. From what I heard, that’s how Tarantino shot it.

I walked out of the theatre after seeing Volume 2 very satisfied. I felt that the second installment really did a great job of tying up all the loose ends from Volume 1. QT gave us a nice, tidy package and I’ll be damned if I don’t love the whole thing. The whole really is better than the sum of it’s two incredible parts.

2. Todd says… apr 21, 2004 | 10:37 am

I wasn’t too impressed with Vol. 1 but after a second viewing I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see Vol 2. I made the mistake of seeing The Punisher this weekend instead. Decent at times but with plot holes you could drive a dumptruck through.

And that game is pretty damn cool.

3. Matli! says… apr 30, 2004 | 10:30 am

First off I’d like to concur with all the commments great movie seeing the second one made me want to see the first one again. The first one as I remember had more style than substance and then the second part kicks in and gives you all the substance you were lacking in the first one! So yes I bet as a whole movie setting it is probably easier to sit through than the LOTR movies.

Having said that there are a couple of questions I’d like mulled over. First, doesn’t the end just beg for a sequel or trilogy type package…did you not notice the big question mark in the credits over D. Hannahs name? Second being as it was supposed to be one movie do you think Q.T. laced in that scene at the beging of part two, black n white car ride, to tie the two together? or was that in the original script write up?

that is it for now…