The Bride unwaveringly continues on her roaring rampage of revenge against the band of assassins who had tried to kill her and her unborn child. She visits each of her former associates one-by-one, checking off the victims on her Death List Five until there's nothing left to do … but kill Bill.
Tarantino's amusing super-assassin bizarro world
RELEASED IN 2004 and written/directed by Quentin Tarantino, "Kill Bill Vol. 2" completes the story of 2003's "Vol. 1" and fills in the holes. Former assassin, The Bride (Uma Thurmon), seeks vengeance after the murder of her fiancé & friends at a wedding rehearsal in El Paso. She takes on formidable thugs Budd (Michael Madsen) and Elle (Daryl Hannah) to finally get to ringleader Bill (David Carradine). Gordon Liu plays master martial artist Pai Mei while Michael Parks is on hand as Esteban Vihaio.
This part of the duology is more dialogue-driven than "Vol. 1,” fleshing-out the characters and answering many questions. Such as: How is The Bride such an unconquerable fighter? How did Elle lose her right eye? Why did Bill conduct the wedding massacre? How does Budd spend his retirement? The problem is that the characters are all cartoony caricatures, and merciless assassins to boot. It's impossible to give criminal scum "more depth," at least as far as caring for them goes. Let 'em all kill each other for all I care. Moreover, the story is too shallow to warrant such epic treatment and would've been more effective if both films were condensed into a 2.5 hour flick, cutting out the fat.
Still, the movie's so offbeat that it's entertaining in the manner of 1996's "Mojave Moon," but better. It's an interesting combo of spaghetti Westerns, 70's martial arts flicks, Bond-isms and all-around Tarantino quirkiness. But suggesting that the "Kill Bill" flicks are cinematic masterpieces of auteurism is overdoing it. Take, for instance, the ridiculous closing credits, which run well over 12 minutes: The plot and characters are unworthy of such pretentious veneration. If you want masterworks by Tarantino, see “Django Unchained” (2012) and “Pulp Fiction” (1994); or even “Inglourious Basterds” (2009) and “Jackie Brown” (1997).
Still, the movie's strangely amusing, the cast is good (especially Carradine) and Bill's Superman analysis is insightful. The Bride’s training with Pai Mei is arguably the best bit.
THE MOVIE RUNS 137 minutes and was shot in Southern California; Beijing, China; and Mexico.
GRADE: B/B- (6.5/10)
Super Cool ManChu, Miramax, A Band Apart by Quentin Tarantino, Uma Thurman.
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen.
Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
Keywords: sibling relationship martial arts kung fu showdown swordplay katana mother role rage and hate daughter right and justice vigilante single sword fight revenge retribution aftercreditsstinger duringcreditsstinger
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