In Quentin Tarantino’s
“Kill Bill: Volume 1”, audiences were introduced to
Black Mamba (Uma Thurman), a former assassin who is attacked
and left for dead by her fellow employees on her wedding
day. She awakens from a coma four years later with a steel
plate in her head and a score to settle.
After escaping from the hospital undetected, Black Mamba
sets off for Okinawa to mentor under a sword maker and
prepare her body to take revenge. With the aid of a
specially made sword, Mamba sets out to locate and kill her
former cohorts especially her boss Bill (David Carridine)
who put a bullet in her head on her wedding day.
Part two opens after the events of the original with Black
Mamba on her way to eliminate the next two people on her
list and then work her way to Bill. Unlike the previous
installment, this volume is much lighter on action and
heavier on flashbacks and characterizations. While this is
good for the story it does tend to make the story drag out,
as there are some moments in the film that serve little
purpose other than to establish what has already been told.
Case in point, the character of Budd (Michael Madsen), we
know that he has fallen on hard times after a falling out
with his brother Bill, we are told he works at a local strip
bar. The condition and location of his trailer as well as
his appearance illustrates his misfortune but Tarantino
tacks on a scene of Bud going to work only to be chewed out
and return home. There are many scenes like this that
detract from the story as there are only roughly 20-minutes
of action in the 2hr plus film and nothing near the quality
of that in the first.
The saving grace of the film is Carradine as Tarantino
builds up Bill to be this horrible monster yet Bill is shown
to be a complex and multi-dimensional man who is capable of
charm, charisma, and kindness, yet can become brutally cold
and deadly. Like a serpent you find yourself captivated by
him yet all the while wondering when and where he will
The final confrontation of the film is sadly very under
whelming and after the classic finale to part one, is sure
to be a letdown to most viewers. Carradine gives a fantastic
performance in the finale segments but much of the lead up
ended up on the editing room floor as I learned in a recent
interview with the star.
While Volume 2 fails to match the intensity and action of
part 1, it is still an interesting film filled with the
great characters and dialogue that sets Tarantino apart from
his peers. That being said, while it disappoints, it is
still good entertainment.
-- Gareth (
2 1/2 out of 4 pops )
about this film with other Popkorn Junkies
Billy Ray ( 4 out of
4 pops )
It's official -- Quentin Tarantino is one of the greatest directors of
all-time. Though he has only made four films (taking his last two films
as a whole), he has more spunk and creativity than most of the directors
being paid millions upon millions to turn comic books into films. If
anyone should be turning comics into films, it is Tarantino, whose love
for comics is apparent in a gripping monologue from David Carradine
concerning the alter-egos of super heroes. I found "Kill Bill Vol.
2" to be better than the first film. The dialogue was sharper, the
fight sequences were incredible, and David Carradine was Oscar worthy in
his screen time. The fight sequence between Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah
should go down as one of the greatest ever created, and the whole
sequence with Uma Thurman in the casket was pure genius -- just look at
the way Tarantino directs that scene. This was truly one of the best
films of the year and I really hope the Academy gives it recognition.
Mike ( 3 out of 4
I really liked that Tarantino made Kill Bill Vol 2 as an entirely
different type of movie than Vol 1. Whereas the first movie was
action oriented, this second one filled us in on more of the story as
well as all the missing plotlines from Vol 1. David Carradine was
nothing short than excellent as Bill and Uma was perfect again as the
Bride. Many people criticized that this story was done as two
films but I think it worked out pretty good this way. And of
course if was filled with great music such as from the Eastwood spagetti
westerns and the TV show Ironsides. I would say that I ended up
liking both films about the same.
Matt (3 out
of 4 pops)
Technically, I didn't enjoy this movie as much as Volume 1, but that's
considering the latter is one of THE best motion pictures of all time!
It received approximately 70 million at the box office--which is not a
huge sum, though not a small one either--but it received a great cult
following for all the right reasons. Let's face it, Quentin
Tarantino is a master storyteller! It still would've been great
if "Kill Bill" was released as an epic film, like Tarantino
intended, but studios have developed such a prejudice against long
movies. Meanwhile, the stupid "Lord of the Rings"
movies get away with being over 3 hours. Come on!
Peter Jackson doesn't deserve to pee in the same toilet as Quentin
Tarantino! Anyway..."Kill Bill Volume 2" isn't
nearly as violent as the first installment, and concentrates more on
developing the backstories of each character. The pace is
slower, which creates a few lulls in the film, but I was fascinated
most of the way. My favorite part is when The Bride goes through extensive
training in martial arts, by a Chinese Master who never cracks a smile
and continuously strokes his long beard. The non-linear
narrative works beautifully, as the various incidents reveal why
things happened, rather than what will happen (as in a standard
narrative). Tarantino knows how to pull off the non-linear
narrative perfectly, constantly keeping his audiences in suspense.
Various directors have tried to imitate his trademark style, and many
have failed. Just watch "21 Grams"--that is a prime
example of a director confusing his audience with the non-linear
narrative, rather than intriguing them. Once again, Uma Thurman
gives a very impressive performance--in one of the best roles of
her career. David Carradine is brilliant as well, and Tarantino
continues to prove that just because an actor is labeled as a
"has-been," doesn't mean he doesn't have talent.
Just think of where John Travolta would be right now if Tarantino
didn't have faith in him. Though I doubt the Academy would be so
fair, I hope Carradine gets a supporting Oscar nomination.
Though "Volume 2" mostly consists of quieter moments, there
are some great action sequences as well, like the fight between
Thurman and Darryl Hannah. There is one pretentious shot, which
shows about 2 minutes of black as Thurman is trying to escape from a
coffin, but that's the last of my complaints about this movie.
"Kill Bill" fans should have a ball!