Reviewed byCoventryVote: 9/10
Rarely known a movie I've been looking forward to so much than Q.T's resumption of the Kill Bill saga. I, as well as millions of others film-freaks, awaited Uma Thurman's further adventures with wicked anticipation. And of course?Tarantino didn't disappoint. Volume two is a completely different movie than volume one, but it's equally brilliant and the director's trademarks are shown more than obviously. Volume one merely was homage to the Eastern Martial Arts movies, with delightfully over-the-top splatter and gore while Vol. 2 fully focuses on ancient westerns and rural horror. There's more dialogue, more twists ?n turns and the anti-chronological structure results in more depth and involvement. Some unexplained elements from Vol.1 become clear now and even the entire background of Thurman's character gets unveiled. For the very first time, (as far as I can remember) Tarantino really knows how to create an unbearable tension! There's a sequence in which Uma is buried alive and trapped under the ground?Through simple methods, like a completely black screen, Tarantino arises claustrophobia among the audience! Truly terrific filmmaking. The actors in Kill Bill aren't Hollywood's best, but they each have their charisma and their typical Tarantino characters do the rest. The camera viewpoints are brilliant at times and ? as usual ? the tiny absurd elements are a joy to discover. Tarantino's entire Kill Bill achievement may easily be considered as one of the most creative and dared film-projects ever! Do yourself a favor and watch them! ?Over and over again.
Reviewed byBill Slocum (firstname.lastname@example.org)Vote: 8/10
It's a matter of some debate which volume of Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" is better. Let's end the argument right now: David Carradine doesn't even appear in "Volume 1." Hasn't the Academy mailed him his Best Supporting Actor Oscar already? In the first volume of "Kill Bill," released only a few months before "Vol. 2" in the tail end of 2003, we met Uma Thurman, one peeded-off super-assassin taking out some folks from her past one at a time, with the occasional mega-posse thrown in for interest. "Vol. 1" had a lot of blood, violence, and wisecracks, and galloped across the screen like a rap video on steroids. "Vol. 2" is way different. It makes sense it's a separate movie; the tone is such a departure from "Vol. 1" in two ways. One is style. Director Tarantino has fun stylistically quoting Sergio Leone and chop-fu cheapos from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Cinematic sampling is something he's good at and enjoys, but in "Vol. 2" he doesn't go as overboard as he does in "Vol. 1." He pulls back and lets the plot breathe, rather than filling every spare second with a homage-cum-parody that maybe a dozen lucky fans will get. Maybe some here wish he'd pile it on a bit more, but they have to make do with the goofy Pei Mai sequence, which is a flashback and hence not jarring in its "Vol. 1"-style comic-book treatment. Throughout "Vol. 2" the emphasis is on storytelling and character-building, which is where it should be given we are now being asked to deepen our commitment of interest to these people. "Vol. 1" is okay for what it is, but its flash and action are no match for the depth and nuance of "Vol. 2." This gets to the second different tonal difference between the films, which is emotional. It all comes back to the characters. They don't quite become real people here, but they get close enough to get under your skin. Admittedly, the opening part of "Vol. 2" tests the viewer's patience a bit, there's some long bits that show the director hasn't really mastered self-discipline, like with Thurman's graveyard struggle, but the meandering usually has a purpose. Tarantino is building toward something here that has its payoff when Thurman's character finally has her face-to-face showdown with Carradine's Bill. From that moment forward to the end, this is the best Tarantino has ever been. Carradine and Thurman dominate the proceedings with two of the finest performances I've seen, certainly the best Tarantino has directed, playing off the mythology we've been taught in "Vol. 1" and developing resonances with the viewer both together and apart which will surprise those expecting a casual butt-kicking affair. We finally find out what Carradine means in the first line of "Vol. 1" where he tells a whimpering victim he is being masochistic, not sadistic, and its a powerful revelation, that this sinister baddie may have a heart buried under that cold exterior. Carradine is perfect in his phrasing, his pauses, the tired glint in his eye, or the way he says "Kiddo." You can't ask for a better veteran performance. For her part, Thurman presents a brilliantly conflicted character who can not stop either hating or loving Bill, and brings us not into a world of cartoon anguish, but real human pain. "Kill Bill Vol. 2" is slow-moving, and needs "Vol. 1" in a way few sequels do, since it assumes you know nearly all the characters coming in. That's a weakness. So are some undeniably pointless bits, including the entire sequence with Bill's father figure, Esteban Vihaio, and some business at a bar involving Michael Madsen, who plays a former assassin now gone to seed. Madsen's good, though, and so's Daryl Hannah as another rather mouthy assassin, Gordon Liu as Pei Mei, and especially Perla Haney-Jardine as a girl named B.B. The nice thing with Tarantino is for every scene that strikes a bum note, there's four or five that hit the right mark, and some manage to do much more. My favorite scene involves a Mexican standoff in an L.A. hotel room between Thurman's character and an anonymous hitwoman, at once grippingly suspenseful, hilarious, and life-affirming. Still, it's the final moments of this film that will stay with you, as Bill and his former pupil work out their "unfinished business" and we are left to ponder the results of their decisions and actions. "Kill Bill Vol. 2" may not reach the heights of cinema to which it aspires, the level of "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly" quoted in its score, but it's a fine film that will make most viewers glad they stuck around for the second installment. I am.
Reviewed byuds3Vote: 5/10
Kill Bill: Vol 2 is a whole new ball-game. Whether you assess the film by virtue of its incisive dialog, its brilliant direction, acting par excellance or simply its `appeal,' there is but one factor - Tarantino. QT is to cinematic originality what Kubrick brought to deep space, and beyond the infinite! A lifetime of forgettable movies excepting BOUND FOR GLORY and arguably Scorcese's BOXCAR BERTHA, is erased for Carradine overnight thanks to Tarantino. As Bill, Carradine has handed in his greatest performance to date.that is to say, QT drew it out of him. The `Old Grasshopper' conveys charm, menace.all the wordly acoutrements his profession would have brought to him. Playing the reed flute that he carved himself from a bamboo plantaton he actually set-up while still making Kung-Fu episodes, Carradine's first appearance outside the small church in El Paso set the scene for the entire movie. He commands our attention from that moment on. His last line, `How do I look?' was delivered with such believable sincerity and emotive sadness, it closed a chapter in Beatrix's and the viewer's recent experiences with remarkably good taste. The smallest part in this movie, from Samuel Jackson's cameo thru Bo Svenson's preacher to Michael Parks' gifted little turn as the crafty old Esteban is just flawless acting of the highest calibre. QT 'regular' Madsen also scores with arguably his best portrayal in years as the alkified retired gang-member Budd (aka Sidewinder). He really looked the sad dead-beat that he had become. The flashback sequences are never overlong, out of place or anything but chronologically correct. Everything from Volume 1 is explained. Beatrix's Kung-Fu training sequences with Master Pai Mai might be considered by many, the high point of the film. Certainly Tarantino's love of old Samurai flicks is evidenced throughout, especially in the brief but beautiful silhouette-shots of Master and pupil training. Nice touch too towards the end (I don't wish to give anything away here) where `X' and `Y' are watching SHOGUN ASSASSIN. The final twenty minutes of the movie fully justify the term `awesome.' At the point Beatrix finally confronts Bill, no-one in the audience would be expecting to see what they do. All I will say is that the `little girl' involved is the most appealing and touchingly innocent little thing I have ever seen in a film. It was a master-stroke of casting, scripting and cinematography. A lot more I would like to say but cannot, without ruining the film for any future viewers. In my opinion, no film ever made betters this!
The murderous Bride is back and she is still continuing her vengeance quest against her ex-boss, Bill, and taking aim at Bill's younger brother Budd and Elle Driver, the only survivors from the squad of assassins who betrayed her four years earlier. It's all leading up to the ultimate confrontation with Bill, the Bride's former master and the man who ordered her execution!