Monday, December 17, 2012

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) Review

Kill Bill Vol 2 poster
Part of Merry Christmas and Happy Tarantino Month!

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen
Genre: Action, Martial Arts, Drama

The second half of Quentin Tarantino's revenge epic, Kill Bill.

Killing the first two on her list, The Bride continues her quest for revenge in this film and hunts down the last three...including Bill himself.

Now whereas I mentioned in my review of Kill Bill Vol. 1 that it was essentially a pure Action film with little else, Vol. 2 is a bit different. Don't kid yourself, Vol. 2 is still very much an Action film, it just adds some more Drama and is much slower paced. But this is a good thing. It allows for more character development and great dialogue.

In Kill Bill Vol. 2 we not only get to know The Bride better, but we get to better understand her relationship with Bill and what led up to the wedding massacre. We see the backstories of numerous characters and how they all feel towards each other. Whereas Vol. 1 had almost no character development at all, Vol. 2 actually has superb character development. It also allows the viewer to sympathize better with The Bride's revenge while at the same time understand why Bill did what he did.

Bill really is quite a complex and well-written character, and I plan to someday do an in-depth analysis of Kill Bill, in which I will talk more about the finer details.

Tarantino has always been known for his great dialogue, but in Vol. 1 it was so fast paced that there was hardly any dialogue at all. Vol. 2's slower pace allows us to see some great Tarantino writing in action. While I wouldn't put Vol. 2's dialogue in the same league as Pulp Fiction's, it's still pretty great.

The Bride buried alive Uma Thurman Kill Bill

That's not to say the film doesn't have some really great action. It does. The fight between The Bride and Elle Driver is insanely awesome, and even the (minor spoiler:) brief fight with Bill.

One of my favorite parts is the Pai Mei story. I've always like Pai Mei as a character and he's taken straight out of classic kung fu films like Executioners from Shaolin and Clan of the White Lotus, both of which Gordon Liu (Pai Mei) acted in, though not as Pai Mei. Pai Mei is a fairly comedic character in here but it works well. He is portrayed not only as comedic, but also as skillful and strict.

Pai Mei Gordon Liu Kill Bill

The soundtrack here is, in my opinion, not quite as good as it was in Vol. 1. It's still very good, and all the songs and the original composition by RZA are excellent. There's a lot of Ennio Morricone stuff used in here. The song "About Her" by Malcolm McLaren fits perfectly. However, the stuff Robert Rodriquez was really up to standards. All in all though it's still a fantastic soundtrack and score. 

The cast is great as is their acting performances. Uma Thurman does a still awesome job. David Carradine as Bill does wonderful, so does Michael Madsen. Daryl Hannah is good, Gordon Liu is awesome. There's even a brief Samuel L Jackson cameo.

Kill Bill Vol 2 sword

There's not much I can say about Vol. 2 that I haven't already said about Vol. 1. They're very different in tone from each other but they are perfect when watched together and indeed should be watched together as they compliment one another very well. Stay tuned for my in-depth analysis on the two films, which should be coming...eventually. Highly recommended. 

5/5 stars

Purchase Kill Bill Vol. 2 on Amazon: Blu-Ray - DVD - Stream - Vol 1 & 2 Double Feature
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