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!