"Kill Bill Volume II"
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, Gordon Liu, Michael Parks, Bo Svenson, Jeannie Epper, Perla Honey-Jardine
Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino
Based on the character of "The Bride" by: Q&U
Martial arts adviser: Yuen Wo-ping
Miramax Films/Band Apart
If Quentin loved himself a little less he could have made a masterpiece. What I mean by that is, if he had some sharper scissors he could have cut together Kill Bill Vol.1 and Kill Bill Vol.2 and made a true cinematic achievement. Instead he opted to release Vol.1, which to many, including myself, was a huge disappointment. The entire Kill Bill summery can be said in three lines. The Bride (Uma Thurman) drops out off an assassin squad, headed by x-lover Bill. The assassination squad gets pissed off and kills her husband and deadly wound her which makes her fall into a coma. The bride wakes up and kills every member of the assassination squad. Volume 1 was boring; the story too simplistic and gone was the famous Tarentino snippy dialog that made his name. It also for the first time made me question Tarentino's use of violence, I mean, how many time can you watch blood squirting out of someone's torso after having their head chopped off thinking is this really how I want to spend my time? And then the final disappointment was the ending. Volume 1 ends, cliffhanger style, making you stare at the credits thinking, "This is Quentin, your going to leave me hanging?"
So I'm sitting in the theatre, already content on giving a couple more bucks, and wasting a couple more hours, out of pure loyalty to the guy, just because of record. I figured, why not, he might have something up his sleeve. I didn't expect that much from him, but Kill Bill Volume 2, I gotta say is fucking awesome. There are some drawn out monologues like the one Bill (David Carradine) goes on and on about some comic book for two minutes that made me bored to tears. Monologues about comic books, are no longer clever subjects about a subculture, but sound more like generic banter from Clerks. Then there's the part where Uma is getting trained by her Kung Fu expert, that though are entertaining often drag and should have been shortened. But even with all this, the movie was great. Not because there were some good parts to outweigh the bad. It's just that the good parts weren't just good, they were fucking amazing. I mean, amazing like they should be shown in every film school to every film student to say, hey, this is fucking cinema.
So what are the amazing parts? Well, there's a part where Michael Madsen catches Uma hiding outside his trailer, he shoots her with a salt gun that puts her out. He calls Bill, to see what kind of deal he can make. Bill tells him to find the most brutal way to kill her. So he tries to bury her alive. The way Quentin did this was leaving us with Uma in the coffin. We hear the nail being driven into the coffin, as the light turns to darkness. And then its pitch black, and Uma is whimpering. She has a small handheld flashlight that she turns on, to check out the coffin. And then you hear the sound of the dirt crashing, being piled on top. The twinge of claustrophobia I felt during this scene was like no horror movie I've ever seen. I'm not going to say how she gets out, though it is unbelievable, you can't help but rejoice, to leave the coffin with Uma. There are many surprises that make you scream and jump, and cringe. It doesn't bog you down with character development, but it doesn't bore you with senseless dialog. The only well-written words come out of the mouth of an eight-year old.
Something that really disappointment was the music. Normally Tarentino's soundtracks are an essential part of cinema. To me, that's one of the things that I thought Tarentino introduced, all his films have unique sounds. Most mainstream films you watch sound alike and you wonder why they all have the same score. But I can't even remember any of the music in this one.
When I tell people to see this movie, they ask, "Well, do you have to see the first one first, in order to understand it?" I say, "Well, you could, but it would be better if you didn't." The entire first film is pretty much covered in the first five minutes of the second film, which tells you how futile it was. I heard a rumor that Tarentino offered to combine the films, but Harvey Weinstein decided he could make more money with two movies. If that's the case, it probably worked, but it's a shame because if Tarentino had combined them, he could have had an Oscar contender in his hands. Instead of a movie that will disappear from consciousness save for Tarentino fanatics and stoned teenagers.