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Kill Bill Vol. 2

The second half of Quentin Tarantino's epic female revenge saga.

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Tarantino Turns Introspective in Part II

  • Aug 12, 2004
  • by
Rating:
+3
Pros: Script, Action, direction, acting is top notch.

Cons: Slow and plodding at times.

The Bottom Line: Final analysis: Tarantino crafted a set of films that herald his genius as a film make, a master of the detail, a student of the macabre, and a stupendous storyteller.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

Quentin Tarantino is back. Back in the director's seat where he most assuredly belongs, away from ill-advised forays into the acting arena, and he has thankfully has returned, quite literally, with a vengeance. Fist there was Kill Bill Vol.1 release last year which is predicated on the formulaic ruse of any 1970’s Hong Kong kung-fu film worth its P’s & Q’s—sweet, sweet, blood trenched revenge. And just for good measure, Tarantino artfully glommed onto the latest Japanese Anime craze and produced a movie worthy of his name and reputation.

And now there is the recently released to DVD Kill Bill Vol.2, which if you watched Vol.1 you know is the much anticipated follow-on; only in this film the carnage and violence that took center stage in the first installment takes a back seat to a more subdued interchange. In Kill Bill Vol.2 the hack and slash; blood and gore that so marked the film as a Tarantino vehicle has been replaced by a (sometimes) plodding dialog that explains t he bloodletting in Vol.1. Not that there isn’t a fair amount of violence to sate the appetite of those so inclined, but Kill Bill Vol.2 is a far more introspective movie with an emphasis on character building, emotional interplay, and background.

Story-Line:

Uma Thurman (Dangerous Liaisons, Pulp Fiction) The Bride a.k.a., Beatrice Kido is back to dispatch the rest of The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, led by Bill (David Carradine) that she didn’t eliminate in the first movie. This installment of Kill Bill opens as a very pregnant Beatrice is ready to walk down the aisle, but instead witnesses the slaughter of her entire wedding party, before she herself is savagely beaten and then shot in the head and left for dead by her former associates. Seems Bill is the jealous type, and as we learn as the film unwinds resents the fact that Beatrice took off with his baby in the oven.

Thus continues the trail of blood, guts, heroics, light humor, and somewhat spectacular sword play that is Kill Bill Vol.2. However as I alluded to above, there is far less blood then in the first installment. The Bride’s third mark is Bill’s brother Budd portrayed by Tarantino alumnus Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, Species) in his dilapidated trailer in the New Mexico desert. But the ex-assassin turned maligned bouncer at a local stripe club, is warned by his brother that our heroine is on her way. So he is prepared, and shoots her with rock salt from a 12-guage when she entered his trailer one night. Bud then proceeds to drug, spit on, and bury the hapless Bride alive.

Needless to say she escapes, but not before treating us to flashbacks of her brutal and punishing training regime under the Chinese martial arts master Pei Mei portrayed by Gordon Liu (Invincible Pole Fighter, Shaolin Challenges Ninja), who apparently has been alive for quite some time.

Bud does die but not at the Brides hands but by snake bite helped along by fellow one-eyed assassin Elle Driver portrayed by lovely, long limbed Daryl Hannah (Splash, Wall Street), who as it turns out was also a former student of Pei Mei who plucked out one her eyes, after she insulted him. Elle is still a member of Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and she has come to purchase The Bride’s priceless hand-made Samurai sword for one million dollars, but double crosses Bud but putting a poisonous Black Mamba in the suitcase full of money with dispatched Bud with great violence.

Just about the time Bud draws his last and Elle is about to leave, The Bride re-appears, and a brutal no holds barred catfight ensues…

Final Thoughts

Kill Bill Vol.1 & 2 should not be confused with such honor bound Kung-Fu (martial arts) movies like Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), or Zhang Yimou's Hero (2002) whose fights are beautiful ballet-like choreographed martial arts extravaganzas. No, in Tarantino's world the fights with gleaming Samurai swords are more gory; more street brawl; limbs are unabashedly severed, blood flows, and squirts in over-exaggerated brilliance, as foes are dispatched in passionless aplomb. In Tarantino’s world beauty is replaced by the nakedness of humanities ugliness towards itself. There is no room for honor, only single-minded determination to fulfill ones own designs, however wicked their purpose. But it works, I found myself embracing Uma’s character, rooting for her, despite the apparent wrongness of her actions.

And speaking of Uma Thurman, the exotic blonde with the piercing blue eyes and overly wide nose, the woman I feel in love with in the Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), and Dangerous Liaisons (1988) is sinfully good in her role as The Bride. Thurman pulls off her roll with surprising assurance as if were born to the role of hired assassin, though the part is unlike any other she has heretofore portrayed. Tarantino’s close-ups of Thurman’s face be it clean or coated with blood, testifies to the actresses unpretentious air of craft.

David Carradine only heard, but never seen in Vol.1., is electric in Kill Bill Vol.2. I have read reports that Tarantino originally offered the part of Bill to Warren Beatty, but he passed. Yes! Carradine was made for this role as the electrifying, charismatic, and to be feared Bill. Fit and well aged since the days of Kung Fu, the series, Carradine turns in a sterling performance as the leader of the pack; indeed he is a mixture of cruelty, ruthlessness, wisdom, intelligence, depravity, tenderness, and love. Carradine turns in an Oscar caliber performance. In my mind no other actor could have pulled Bill off, or breathed life into the character like Carradine.

While Kill Bill Vol. was unabashedly, unapologetically violent and brutal, Kill Bill Vol.2is surprisingly quaint. The violence is much more subdued; the human story is what is important here. And while I must admit that I miss the carnage and sword play of Kill Bill Vol.1 I enjoyed Vol.2 for its intellectual interchange, its message of human frailty and attempted redemption; its softness rendered in the forms of a child, and it rouge edges painted by death and suffering.

In the final analysis, Tarantino crafted a set of films that herald his genius as a film make, a master of the detail, a student of the macabre, and a stupendous storyteller.


Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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More Kill Bill Vol. 2 reviews
review by . July 22, 2010
The Bride (Uma Thurman) continues wiping out the hit squad that left her for dead in the first film.  This one includes the ruthless Elie Driver (a one-eyed Daryll Hannah), who helps the Bride eliminate one of her targets.  This movie moved along a lot slower than the first with the big battle occurring between the Bride and Driver.  We see how the Bride received her training and how her master was murdered.       David Carridine plays Bill and when the two …
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Being the second half of what was originally one movie, the quality of vol 2 is just as good if not better than vol 1. As with any story, vol 1 was all about character development and sort of linear in that way. By the time we get to vol 2, we are ready to absorb a gripping story involving those characters.
Quick Tip by . July 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The second part of Tarantino's two part revenge saga gets Tarantino's story telling and dialogue that was missing from it's first part. Lengthy as hell at times but worth it.
Quick Tip by . July 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The movie had a little to much background storie but I loved the movies any way so I have mad props for the makers of this and hope to see more of the movies like this one.
Quick Tip by . June 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Great action film. I typically do not like action movies but this one is captivating. Love when she's being buried alive.
review by . July 11, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Kill Bill Volume 1 wasn't a movie for everyone.  It had a lot of action.  In the midst of that action there wasn't much story... but it was there.  Tarantino just needed to find a way to balance the action and the drama.  Thus, you have a movie split in two.  Kill Bill Volume 1 was a prelude to the Bride's revenge and sort of explaining why she was on a rampage.  Volume 2 sets out not only to conclude what was begun in the first film, but to also give background on …
review by . December 23, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Kill Bill Vol. 2 DVD
WARNING: This review contains spoilers!       Note: Before reading this review for Kill Bill Vol. 2, please read my review for Kill Bill Vol. 1 to avoid confusion.       Quentin Tarantino (Jackie Brown and Kill Bill Vol. 1) delivers the second half of his epic revenge melodrama, Kill Bill, with his usual stylistic flare. As with Vol. 1, he gives tribute to the many genres that have inspired him since his childhood. Unlike Kill Bill Vol. 1, Vol. 2 …
review by . May 01, 2009
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 is the second half of a three hour plus movie that was directed by Quentin Tarantino (the action scenes were directed by Yuen Woo-Ping). Since nobody wanted to watch a nearly four hour grind house movie, the producers decided to split the movie in half and put all the left over footage in part two. In doing so the movie feels very bloated and the film tends to drag in many places.    The Bride is nearing the end of her long road to vengeance. With only the last …
review by . April 15, 2004
Pros: Carradine and some good lines.     Cons: Drags, not alot of action.     The Bottom Line: For fans of the first volume only.     Revenge is the hot topic of this weekends releases as like “The Punisher” “Kill Bill Vol. 2” centers around the lead characters quest to seek revenge against those that have wronged them.       In Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill: Volume 1”, audiences were introduced …
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Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #189
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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Wiki

The second and final volume in Quentin Tarantino's KILL BILL series is another stylish, sprawling masterwork. VOLUME 2 picks up where the first film left off, as The Bride (Uma Thurman) resumes her quest to track down her former mentor, Bill (David Carradine), and exact revenge. But before she gets to Bill, she must first take out the remaining minions who helped to slaughter her best friends and fianci. First up is Budd (Michael Madsen), a quiet but dangerous country boy who lives in a trailer. Next is Elle Driver (Darryl Hannah), a one-eyed vixen who doesn't appear to have a heart--or a conscience. As The Bride makes her way closer to Bill, scenes from her past are revisited, including her training with the angry and brutal Pai Mei (Gordon Liu). Finally, The Bride locates her man, sparking a truly unforgettable confrontation.

In contrast to the nearly dialogue-free first volume, VOLUME 2 is filled with extended conversations that bring the story full circle. Thurman is once again riveting a...
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