Kill Bill Vol. II
"...Kill Bill Vol. 2 ends off the masterpiece epic and is surely not to be missed."
Kill Bill Vol. II (2003/2004)
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Producer: Lawrence Bender
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Darryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, Lucy Lui, Vivica Fox, Sonny Chiba, Julie Dreyfus, Gordon Liu, Chiaki Kuriyama, Michael Parks
PLOT: Four years after surviving a bullet in the head, the bride emerges from a coma and swears revenge on her former master and his deadly squad of international assassins.
DAVE BELL'S REVIEW: I think most people are going to compare Vol. I and Vol. II and they shouldn't. These are two totally different movies, each touching on the same subject, from different points of view. I think THAT'S why the film was split in half, not because of length. I think it was planned to be split all along, if it was (and I'm not sure it was because that would be one weird movie - even with an intermission) I think it would have detracted from both halves impact.
QT demonstrated in Vol. I that he could make a movie minus his brilliant dialogue (except for Sonny Chiba, who was amazing!). In Vol. II he shows us that he can make a movie without stilted dialogue (Carradine was every bit as good as Chiba, if not better).
The people talked, they communicated not gave speeches, which is my only real problem with QT. His characters tend to be addressing each other. Which is annoying unless what they're saying is compelling, which it almost always is. But this time the characters spoke as if they were actually speaking WITH each other. Not AT each other.
The only down side, Uma Thurman. She really doesn't deliver her dialogue naturally. Then again, most of her dialogue is the silly "We have unfinished business" lines, so who can blame her. She did go through an emotional roller coaster in this thing, so I call it a wash.
My only real problem with the movie? QT misses the point on Superman. Clark Kent is real and Superman is the disguise. Batman is real and Bruce Wayne is the disguise. But then again, I'm a major comic geek and QT banged Mira Sorvino, so I think he wins.
I give Vol. I 10/10 and Vol. II 10/10. But even though connected, these films should be considered separate views of the same event. Think Roshamon.
DAVE BELL'S RATING: 10/10
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: Getting straight to the point: Kill Bill Vol. 2 is not as good as Vol. 1. It lacks the energy, the flow, and the intensity level that Vol. 1 packed. However, Vol. 2 is not to blame. Any great lengthy movie divided in two parts - at a last-minute, unplanned state - would mean that one of the halves would naturally have to suffer.
On the plus side, Vol. 2 compliments it's predecessor in every aspect. Like Vol. 1, it's still mesmerizing and a lot of fun. It's also more character-driven and sports a lot more dialogue that die-hard Quentin Tarantino fans were looking for in Vol. 1. We also get to see the more human and sensitive side of Uma's Black Mamba character. In many ways, it sets out a different feel; in fact, it's more of a drama/love story than an action flick. Not that Vol. 2 didn't have any action, it just didn't have a shitload; but when it comes, it's excessively brutal in every way.
One of the main attractions in Vol. 2 is Bill, himself. Surprisingly, David Carradine's performance is stellar. Tarantino brings out the best in him. It's hard to believe that just a couple of years ago, he was the punchline to every martial arts movie joke. I doubt he's going to have his has-been star status revived (i.e. John Travolta in Pulp Fiction), but playing Kill Bill is definitely a nice way to close his relatively shady film legacy. We also get to know the last two of the DIVAS: Elle Driver, played by Darryl Hannah; and Budd, played by Michael Madsen - another pair of semi-stars who have lost their place on the Hollywood A-list. Again, Quentin Tarantino uses them both to their full potential. Oh, and let's not forget the return of Gordon Liu, this time as Lord Pei Mei - his scene speaks for itself.
Vol. 2 was far from a disappointment, but you won't see me strolling into theatres to catch it again (I admit, I saw Vol. 1 about 5 or 6 times). But one thing's for sure - Vol. 1 and 2 combined is not one of the most, but THE MOST entertaining movie I have ever seen.
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: 8/10
SIDESHOWSITO'S REVIEW: I don't think I ever watched a movie that made me think so much that it made my head feel like it was gonna burst. Was I not ready to see Kill Bill Vol. 2? Was it all the anticipation build up? Or is it because I got a little carried away? Whatever it is, I finally decided to write a review for Kill Bill Vol. 2 for the Cityonfire.com Dynasty.
I don't really have too much to say because I'm not really a person to point out my opinions and make it seem like I'm the only one in the world; but I do want to point the fine points about Kill Bill Vol. 2 that really made it a memorable experience:
Warning: Contains spoilers!
DARRYL HANNAH as ELLE DRIVER
The chapter "ELLE AND I" would be the highlight fight segment of Vol. 2. Apart from the 80% dialogue driven movie Kill Bill Vol. 2 has become, the way the "B" and "E" squares it off in Budd's trailer was just RAD!!! It was brutal, brutal, BRUTAL! It wasn't your elegant samurai Oren-ishii style fighting, but more of a sight you see on an episode of Jerry Springer. Darryl Hannah as Elle - we see more of her as this ruthless bitch who is remorseless to her colleague(s) and boy is she BAAAAAAAD! It's this very scene where we find out WHY SHE LOST HER EYE, and you'll be shocked as to how and who had done this to her beautiful blue eye.
The last words exchanged between the two femme fatale's facing-off was quite memorable. Again, don't wanna spoil too much for those who haven't seen it.
The Bride's custom "Hattori Hanzo" sword in this film seems to shine a lot more than it did in Vol. 1 (quite similar to how it made me drool over the Green Destiny Blade in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The way they describe it's value and how you hear the silent "ssshiiinggg " sound when they extract it from the Katana Shard made the sword possess more personality; and at one point I gave a mental note to myself, "Great , I know I'm gonna end up looking for one of those on Ebay when I get home...there goes my credit card again!" :)
DAVID CARRADINE as BILL
David Carradine IS the man. Warren Beatty was originally considered for the role of Bill, but I couldn't possibly oversee that, after seeing Carradine's performance as the grandmaster daddy of the DiVAS. The man has pure charm. He has the voice. And he is BILL. Period. Everything that Bill said in the movie I payed close attention to. It was something about the way he was talking and how he delivered the words. Boy, HE WAS JUST TOO COOL .
I think for me though, the most important scene that really made me think was the way David Carradine pointed out the metaphor about the Superman alter-ego comparison to "BEATRIX KIDDO" being an assassin even after she switched her lifestyle as Arlene P. Shit, from all the years I've grown up watchin Christopher Reeve as the man of steel, never at any point in my life had I even thought about it. And it;s so fuckin' true. Bill is right . Superman is unique and making this point across, I was totally blown away by how he compared the bride being "killer" and will always be no matter what she tried to become.
See, it's stuff like that that make films like this so interesting - when I exit the theatre driving home and still thinking things over with what has been said. I didn't mind the fact that this movie was pretty much dialogue driven and less of the action packed pace that Vol. 1 was. I wasn't such a big fan of the way Bill was defeated (quite predictable, to be honest). Being a crazy Battle Royale fan that I am, his defeat reminded me the way of how Kitano died in Battle Royale (getting up and walking away ). Nonetheless, this film had all the elements a Quentin Tarantino film should possess and it was successful in every possible way.
This was all about Beatrix Kiddo and how she was ready to answer bills $64 million dollar question in the end : Why did she leave him?
Slowly, I couldn't move from my seat... and it was this point, this immense feeling of melancholy began to slowly overwhelm me... I think it was because of the mere fact that this was it. The movie finale... the end. That's probably the only real negative feeling I have right at this moment - that the movie is finally over.
Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, both as one: I just absolutely loved this fuckin' movie. Keep in mind Vol. 2 is definitely different from Vol. 1; but still met my expectations of what a great movie is meant to be. It ended just right and it made me miss our favorite characters from Vol. 1 (Oren, Vernita, Gogo, Sophie ); seeing them on the big screen once more, as the credits began to roll .
Most audiences will truly love this this film as some will become disappointed. As far as my opinions go, the kind of person who will admire such films are the types who admire such films because of what it has to offer, rather than what they have WANTED to have been: Kill Bill Vol. 2 ends off the masterpiece epic and is surely not to be missed.
SIDESHOWSITO'S RATING: 9.5/10