Kill Bill: Volume 2 Review

by Wahid Sharif (moodybastard_717 AT hotmail DOT com)
August 10th, 2004

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

    a review by
    Wahid Sharif

    The Bride (Uma Thurman) is back in "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" to kick ass and complete her mission of revenge against the people who did her wrong. In "Vol. 1", she went through Verntia Green (Vivica A. Fox), and O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) with a heavy dose of the Crazy 88's and Gogo Yubari (Chiaki Kuriyama) sprinkled in. In "Vol. 2", The Bride targets Budd (Michael Madsen), Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah), and of course Bill (David Carradine) to complete her death list, and the result is even more exhilarating than "Vol. 1". In fact, "Vol. 2" is easily one of best films of 2004. It's a wild, rollercoaster ride of film that works as an action film and a layered character study. There aren't too many action/adventure films out today that's more in depth with character developement than "Vol.2". Certainly, for all of the critics of "Vol. 1" who said it was thin on story, can't really make that claim about "Vol. 2" because everything comes together beautifully here. The great thing about "Vol. 2" is that it works so well on its own terms from the brilliant "Vol. 1" to where you really don't have to see "Vol. 1" to enjoy "Vol. 2" if you're not that familiar with either of these films (That's assuming if one lives under a rock and don't go to the movies). But, of course you want to see "Vol. 1" and "Vol. 2" because it's great moviemaking.

    Elements of the Samurai film and Blaxploitation film dominated "Vol. 1", but in "Vol. 2" elements of the Spaghetti Western takes hold here. Somewhere, Sergio Leone has to be smiling at the kind of stuff Quentin Tarantino puts on display. In "Vol. 2", The Bride is more like The Man With No Name and the Harmonica character played by Charles Bronson in Leone's "Once Upon a Time In The West" in her journey of revenge and justice. There's a moment that's straight out of John Ford's "The Searchers" where The Bride and Bill talk outside of the wedding chapel where she is to be married (This sequence is shot beautifully by cinematographer Robert Richardson in black and white). This where we also know why had her beat and shot on her wedding day. There's genuine sense of love and affection between them as they used to be involved, and now she wants out of the Deadly Viper Asssination Squad to live a normal life. This is something that doesn't sit well with Bill, as he has everyone in the chapel killed, including The Bride, even though she's carrying his child. But, she didn't die and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. After taking care of Vernita and O-Ren, she takes on Budd in a terrying sequence to where she's buried alive (and given a choice between a flashlight or a can of mace) and takes on Elle Driver in one the best chick fights ever seen on film. The best part about that battle is that it takes place inside a trailer that's completely trashed (Quentin has to be going for some comical and metaphorical element in having a tralier completely trashed and destroyed). Between these sequences is a flashback involving The Bride's training with warrior master Pai Mei (Gordon Liu) whose white hair and long flowing beard (which he always touches) almost makes him look mythical, but his skills are deadly and he doesn't like women. Yet, from his training, The Bride is able to take care of business on her journey and get out of the tightest of situations.

    The film is titled "Kill Bill", so obviously there's going to be a showdown between The Bride and Bill. But, Tarantino doesn't make it that simple as we see there's still this love and strange bond between these two, even though one of them has to die. Again, this is done through great dialogue and character developement. Even though Bill is dirty and low and should pay for what he did to The Bride (whose real name is Beatrix Kiddo), there's this odd element of sympathy we feel for him know that his love of The Bride is truly real (He's also very spiritual, charming and has this calming paternal way about him. No wonder why people would do anything for him...Even kill). The Bride still loves Bill as well, despite circumstances that will keep them linked forever. Uma Thurman (who's been great throughout both these Volumes) and David Carradine do wonderful piece of acting in this sequence, and they both deserve Oscar nominations for this film (Also, Michael Parks does an outstanding job acting in both volumes as well. In "Vol. 1" he played the Sheriff with the large collection of sunglasses who investigates the crime scene at the wedding chapel. In "Vol. 2" he plays a Mexican named Esteban Vihaio who may more not know where Bill is hiding). Quentin Tarantino should be commended for creating this entertaining saga, which will, in time, stand on its own in film history is being one of the best ever. We all have wondered why Tarantino takes so much time off between films. Well, he can take all the time he needs if he continues to make great movies like this one.


    Wahid Sharif

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