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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.
When I first heard that this film was going to be split into two movies instead of being presented as one as originally planned, I was angry. I accused the powers that be of trying to squeeze two box office triumphs out of a single project. But after having seen both 'Kill Bill' and 'Kill Bill Vol.2', I am glad because both films are extremely different even though the stories are tied together with primarily the same actors and having the same director. Containing less action than 'Kill Bill', volume 2 is intelligent, bizarre and extremely engrossing. It absorbs all of its elements equally and David Carradine's performance as Bill is the best thing to happen in movie villain history since, well, I'll leave that up to individual interpretation.
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
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
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.
is to cinematic originality what Kubrick brought to deep space, and beyond
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!
Over the last 40 years, I've seen a lot of movies. All types. Some great, some good and some mostly inedible; most left my breath with a sour smell. Westerns, sci-fi, comedies, dramas, etc. After seeing Kill Bill Vol I, I assumed that any sequel would pale to its predecessor. I, of course, was premature in my prediction. The movie was, by all means, a classic. I feel Taratino was really trying to make a great movie versus making money for his producers. To build his tasty sandwich, he took the lessons he learned from life as a movie maker and cleverly managed to meld some slices of meat from Sergio Leone (subtly), Akira Kurosawa (very subtly) and, I'm stretching it here, Ridley Scott, to create a great sequel to an excellent first movie. He used some great, almost forgotten actors (Daryl Hannah, Micheal Parks, and David Carradine to create a memorable meal. It was only a sandwich, but what morsel it was. I was full and wanting more. Very rare to find this type of film in our corporate world. He must wield some real power in the movie world. I don't know of anyone who has saw this movie who hasn't given it great feedback. And I know all types of viewers. My wife, who really doesn't like anything that is not overly melancholy or dripping with sentimentality, actually liked the whole movie. That in itself is an endorsement. Well done. Mr. Tarantino, you will be hard placed to match this gem.
This movie is completely different from the first. Unlike the first
with fast paced action and extreme entertainingly super-stylish gore,
Kill Bill vol. 2 is everything that was missing in th first.
The Bride's revenge is burning strong and we can see it in her eyes. We discover the truth behind the wedding massacre and all questions from the 1st movie are answered. We discover why the Bride is the deadliest woman in the world. We discover why Elle is missing an eye. We discover who Bill really is. We discover the Brides name. And finally we discover the truth of the secret revealed at the end of Vol. 1.
Her first target is Budd. The loser bum ex-deadly assassin living in a trailer in the middle of nowhere. The short confrontation ends with one of the most terrifyingly claustrophobia-inducing (sp?) scenes ever...specially if you watch it in the dark. Then we are taken to the journey of how the Bride became the deadliest person in the world. We see the story between her and her hard-hitting very mean master Pai-Mei.
After a while there is the confrontation with Elle Driver...the Battle of the Blonde Gargantuants...as Uma Thurman referred to it in an interview. This one fight scene is almost as exciting as watching the Bride battling off tons of the Crazy 88s from Vol. 1.
Then the battle we were all waiting for. For Uma Thurman to Kill Bill...well I won't spoil it for you. Basically vol. 1 was 95% style 5% substance while vol. 2 is 95% substance 5% style. Very emotional and touching movie with a few key gore scenes...definitely a must see...
I've been waiting to see this movie for so long, and when I finally saw it,
I loved it! it was worth the wait.
Vol.2 picks up pretty much where Vol.1 left, except for some flashbacks explaining what really happened with the characters. Uma Thurman is back as The Bride, and we get to know her real name finally. Also Daryl Hannah comes back as Elle Driver, the one-eyed killer, Michael Madsen plays Budd, Bill's baby/loser brother, and the infamous Bill is played by David Carradine. The performances are just great, Uma Thurman delivers a great performance as The Bride, we finally get to know her character a little better and the true reasons why she wants to "Kill Bill". I also have to say that David Carradine was perfect to play Bill. He has great charisma and he's so smooth, it's impossible not to like him. Daryl Hannah's performance was great too, and Michael Madsen's too.
Once again the music plays a key factor in this movie, is very well selected and for every single scene the music fits perfectly. And of course, the dialogue. In this movie, we get a lot more dialogue than brutal fighting like in Vol.1, this movie is more centered in explaining what led Bill to do what he did, it pretty much focuses in the past, explaining the whole thing. I especially liked the dialogues between Bill (Carradine) and The Bride (Thurman), I thought they were clever and just great, like all Tarantino's dialogues. Also the locations were excelent, I have no idea where they shot the film, but the landscaping was great, I truly enjoyed it.
Well it would be better to see Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 as one movie, not different, because in the end, you must see them together to understand. So I give this movie a 10/10, I loved it, it was great, great dialogues, great performances, great fighting sequences, everything was great! And I think that Uma Thurman and/or David Carradine (at least him) should be nominated for an Oscar, they were perfect and they deserve that international film makers acknowledge that. Tarantino you are the best!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Awful, boring, slow and tedious are just a few words that spring to
mind when I recall having to sit through Kill Bill Vol 2. And those are
the kindest words I can think of. A few more choice words would be
crap, s***e, rubbish or just plain retarded.
Now, I admit, I wasn't expecting KB Vol 1 rehashed, but I did expect something not too dissimilar from Vol 2. KB2 is to KB1 as The Sound of Music is to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The first film's non-stop action has been replaced almost entirely by non-stop dialogue. And not particular good dialogue either. In fact, I'll coin a new term here - dire-logue. The film is littered with it. Any film requires a certain amount of exposition, and even mystic claptrap like that in the Matrix movies. But KB Vol 2 takes claptrap to a new level that makes the Matrix movies look positively Spartan in terms of jibber-jabber. But the worst thing about the chatter in KB2 is the total and utter meaninglessness of most of it. It just drones on and on. A character makes a point verbally then, instead of getting on with the movie, the character is forced to belabour the point over and over until you're practically screaming at them to shut the Hell up and get on with it!
Nor do the pointlessly long (and in fact, just pointless) extra scenes add to the film in any way. For example, we learn that Bud (Bill's brother) lives in a trailer and has a crappy job at a local bar as a bouncer. He's become a loser - a far cry from his assassin days. What I've just summarized in two sentences is dragged out on film over the course of perhaps twenty minutes or more, including an entirely tedious and unnecessary set of scenes involving Bud at work that add absolutely nothing whatsoever to the film and introduce characters that have no bearing on the movie at all. Another scene involves the Bride talking to one of Bill's old colleagues in order to find out where Bill is located. This scene drags on terribly and gives the viewer pointless information on this character which again has precisely no bearing on the movie at all. The only scene which is worthy of inclusion is the obligatory training scene. This is a direct homage to many old Kung Fu movies, right down to the beard stroking sensei. But even this goes on unnecessarily and has you shifting uncomfortably in your seat. And although this scene ties in with the finale and burial scenes, it only serves to remind you that, whilst the Bride was seemingly unable to master punching her fist through a piece of wood, she was apparently highly enough thought of by Pai Mei (the sensei) that he taught her the "hand of death" trick which he had previously never taught to anyone. Hmmm.
The action sequences are brief and entirely unsatisfying for a movie based around the concept of revenge. Bud isn't even slain by the Bride, but by Elle using a Black Mamba (we know it's a Black Mamba because, as Bud is writhing in his death throes on the floor, Elle gives us a tedious five minute exposition on the snake). Elle isn't killed by the Bride, but rather maimed and left after a fight that was very scrappy and not at all elegant. And finally Bill, who is killed by the Bride (after endless boring dialogue about superheroes) in one of the most anticlimactic and disappointing "final encounter" scenes I've ever witnessed.
The truth of this movie is that it's really not a movie at all. It's the extra half-hour that they had to cut from the first film, padded out to two hours or so to make a sequel. With not even particularly brutal editing, KB2 could be distilled down into 30 minutes of relevant, interesting scenes and tacked on to KB1 to make that movie complete. Otherwise this bloated monstrosity is doomed to obscurity in the way that so many sequels so often are - due to over hype and audience expectations being too high.
Quentin Tarantino is to be commended for his movie efforts on the most part. However, KB2 is little more than self-indulgent twaddle wrapped up as a film and served up for consumption on the strength of its predecessor. It's destined to become one of those "I liked so-and-so, but the sequel was rubbish" type of deals. This is even more certain in the light of certain comments I read by Tarantino where he made a big deal of telling everyone that he was sparing no effort in the editing room. If this film is an example of his editing skills, I'd say he needs to be evicted from post-production facilities and the door locked securely behind him to ensure he can't get back in.
Kill Bill Volume 2 is the astonishing follow-up to perhaps 2003's best
film, Kill Bill Volume 1. Quentin Tarantino once again demonstrates a
mastery of dialogue in this homage to the great western and kung fu
movies that inspired him from his video clerk days.
Simply, this film is as entertaining as hell. Tarantino unabashedly takes the viewer for a joyride, and the end result is a movie with intense action, tempered with some of the best dialogue I have ever heard.
Some have pointed to this film as inferior to the first volume of Kill Bill: I disagree. Whereas Tarantino is a great action director (the scene in the first film with the crazy 88s is one of my top five favorite battle scenes of all time), he even surpasses this talent in his ability to write witty, intriguing dialogue: and this film really delivers it. One scene in particular, with David Carradine as Bill, near the end, speaking with Uma Thurman's The Bride while he makes a sandwich, is unforgettable and insightfully interesting. There are few points where the film drags, and the movie ultimately creates the impression of a visceral experience. 10/10. Go see this film, it is by far the best film released so far this year.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I opted to see "LadyKillers" instead of this movie recently. But after a few people said it was so great, I decided to give it a chance. Wrong move!!! There were a few nice action sequences but it was like watching paint dry waiting for them. I'll go ahead and mention spoiler alert now since my comments may spoil it for those who enjoy this type of movie. I nodded off a few times so they might have answered the only question I had which was how Bill got the daughter from the pregnant mother he tried to kill. By the time they showed the daughter, I really didn't care. At least 30 minutes of useless dialog should have been removed. It even took an eternity for Bill to die. And why was Uma crying after striking the fatal blow??? It was about as dumb as her going after everyone with that sword even though she was an expert marksman with a gun. Although LadyKillers wasn't as funny as I had hoped, it was the better movie of the two. My recommendation is that you skip both of these and read a good book if you want some real entertainment.
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