“Kill Bill Vol. 2”
When we last saw The Bride (Uma Thurman), she had managed to
cross off two of the names on her “to kill” list of baddies who had
done her wrong and was on her way to knock off the remaining three:
Bud, Elle, and, of course, Bill.
Though “Vol. 2” begins where its predecessor left off, it may
take some getting used to. The two films are so incredibly
different. I have a tough time believing the claim that they
started out as one movie.
“Vol. 1” was a frenetically-paced action extravaganza packed
with geysers of blood and little plot, while “Vol. 2” is a much
more deliberate, character-driven, introspective film that focuses
more on story than stabbings.
I can’t decide which volume I like better, but I love the
masterpiece they create together. Director Quentin Tarantino’s
signature dialogue, though absent in “Vol. 1,” makes a thankful
return in “Vol. 2.”
Albeit some of the witty monologues are a little long-winded,
most are pure Tarantino brilliance whether it is the analogy of a
dying pet fish, an analytical rant on superheroes, or a hilariously
malicious rundown about a poisonous snake.
Although the dialogue is much heavier in the second chapter, the
action is still rather amazing. Only one fight scene rivals those
from “Vol. 1,” but in my opinion, tops them. That would be the
trailer trash duel between The Bride and Elle Driver (Daryl
Hannah). It has such an electrifying, knock-down-drag-out ferocity
and is easily one of the greatest fight scenes ever put on
Some grueling training sequences and a horrifying live burial
scene also help to give visually entertaining reprieve from all the
talking. The action is still quite graphic, but it doesn’t stray
into excess like in “Vol. 1.” “Vol. 2” is more about the blood
coursing through the character’s veins and less about watching it
spurt out of them.
A few scenes seemed destined for the cutting room floor, but the
characters that inhabit “Kill Bill” are so fun and interesting that
they’re never too boring to watch. I still would have liked to have
gotten to know the Elle Driver character a little better, but
overall, “Vol. 2” does a much more thorough job of fleshing out The
Bride’s nemeses than “Vol. 1” did.
Never before has a film character endured as much mental,
emotional or physical anguish as The Bride and Uma Thurman does
masterful work with the role. Keith Carradine is a commanding
screen presence as Bill and the remainder of the cast have likewise
never been better.
“Vol. 2” has a very un-Tarantinoesque stream of sweetness
running through it, most notably in its final act, that may
surprise and delight those who thought “Vol. 1” heartless and
mean-spirited. The body count has been significantly lowered, but
“Vol. 1” is just as enthralling, if not more so, than its
predecessor. “Kill Bill” as a whole is the type of movie that has
the power to create film buffs for generations to come.
4 out of 4
Although it would be pretty easy to rip this film-adaptation of
the Marvel comic book apart, I liked it way too much to justify
doing such a thing. The plot, strikingly similar to “Kill Bill,”
centers on a recently retired FBI agent named Frank Castle (Thomas
Jane) who, after being left for dead, vows to revenge the murder of
his entire family. John Travolta plays the head honcho who ordered
the massacre and Rebecca Romijin-Stamos plays a kind neighbor who
tries to help Frank deal with his inner turmoil.
The movie relies a little too heavily on coincidences and
Frank’s adoption of a monotone way of speaking sounds a little too
“Batman” for a “real-life,” but enjoyment of this film depends on
the audience acknowledging it as a comic book movie; a genre
allotted a higher level of cheesiness than most.
“The Punisher” is often brutal and cruel in its depiction of
vengeful violence, though, so this is not a comic book movie for
3 out of 4
“Kill Bill: Vol. 2”
2 hours 17 minutes
Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Holiday Twin Drive-In
2 hours 4 minutes
Carmike 10 and Cinemark 16