Kill Bill: Volume 2 Reviewby Andrew Staker (mallowisious AT hotmail DOT com)
May 7th, 2004
Kill Bill Volume 2
Mr Tarantino and his heroine Uma Thurman are back to cut through to the end of this eccentric and idiosyncratic story of revenge.
They also co-wrote the script. The Bride finds a name, Beatrix, and also finds the last three of the people she must kill. In comparison to Volume 1, the present film shows a much higher level of restraint. The action on screen is less choppy. The characters are also less deliberately flippant, with the possible exception of Sifu Pai Mei (Chia Hui Liu) whose luxuriously fake facial hair is a delight.
The story also moves more firmly into America, and particularly into an arid Tex/Mex backdrop. There's a real cowboy feel. But that's not to say the famous Japanese "Hanzo" sword doesn't make an appearance. With the aid of flashbacks, much of who these people are and why the massacre took place at all is explained.
Comic hijinks are to be had with Michael Madsen's surly cowboy Budd and with Daryl Hannah's serpentine Elle Driver. The cinematography (Robert Richardson, also in Volume 1) fits the changed mood of the story. There are extensive patches in B&W and even a nice touch of aspect ratio change when extra attention is given to Beatrix' stricken face.
The claim is that you need not have seen the first instalment to enjoy this one. Volume 2 even carries a small introduction to ease a stranger into the plot. However, having the sights and sounds of the first one in the back of your mind will undoubtedly enhance your enjoyment. Like most of Tarantino's movies, things happen quickly and dialogue is often spat out at great speed. David Carradine as a complex lover whose heart was broken (Bill) is convincing. He was reclusive like Charlie in Volume 1; here, we empathise with him as a family man who just happens to have run an assassination squad.
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