Kill Bill Vol. 2

March 4, 2010
Quentin Tarantino's stylized tale of revenge, Kill Bill, was originally meant to be a 3 1/2 hour long epic, with the film switching between the vastly different styles of the East and the West. However, due to Miramax and the thought that such a long film wouldn't do well in theaters, Kill Bill was separated into two volumes. Each volume, instead, would focus on one of the different styles, instead of balancing East and West. So, while Volume 1 focuses heavily on Eastern style and action, Volume 2's style and action is more Western-orientated and pulls more influence from filmmakers like Sergio Leone or Sam Peckinpah.

Picking up where the first volume left off, Vol.2 follows The Bride, who seeks revenge against her former accomplices, as she continues to pick off each individual on her "Death List" one by one, until she finally meets up with the man who left her for dead - Bill.

Before I start, I'd like to say that this film is, in many aspects, very different from the first volume of Kill Bill. While the first volume focused on style and big personalities, the second volume is far more concerned with its characters. This is partly because the first volume was meant, more or less, to introduce the mythology of this world Tarantino had created. Now, in the second volume, we recognize and understand the mythology that's been presented. We know the significance behind a Hattori Hanzo blade, we know what the Two Pines Massacre was, etc. and so on. Therefore, Tarantino doesn't bother with explaining more mythology to us. Rather, he expands upon previously stated mythology and the characters involved.

The characters and dialogue are much better when compared to the first volume. We get to know these people, rather than having them be big, over-the-top personalities. For instance, we learn where The Bride learned her deadly set of skills, how she got involved with the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, what the relationship is between her and Bill, and plenty of other interesting back-stories. The interaction between the characters is also just filled to the brim with Tarantino's usual style, with quirky dialogue and ruthless actions.

The action, which focuses on more Western influences, is also quite different than the first volume. Instead of focusing on style and blood, Volume 2 is more interested in the major showdowns between big figures, such as Elle Driver or Budd. I can understand this, as these battles feel like showdowns of Westerns past, but the execution just doesn't have the same impact that the violence in the first volume had. It's still fun to watch and well-choreographed, but the lack of style was a bit of let-down. Not too big of a complaint, but still...

Speaking of which, I didn't like how the final battle between The Bride and Bill was done. I mean, this encounter has been built up for the past 3 1/2 hours - it's the fight that's supposed to ensure that "all debts will be repaid in full". Yet, and I kid you not, the fight only lasts for a minute-and-a-half TOPS. It just felt like all this build-up was just completely wasted, thanks to a small plot device earlier in the film.

I'm a bit in-between when it comes to the pacing. On the one hand, the slower pace makes the character interaction more meaningful and real, as opposed to the "samurai-talk" of the first volume. On the other hand, though, the pace can make parts of the film drag unnecessarily, especially the first 30 minutes.

Overall, while Volume 2 is more character-orientated, it doesn't match the awe-inspiring elements of the first volume. It drags at points and the final battle is just such a huge disappointment. Still, the second volume of Kill Bill is interesting, bloody, fantastically fun, and wraps up a great story.

8.5/10 - Great





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

saimne This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm
id like to argue that what made the movie was the simplicity of the final battle. (also, i highly doubt that Bill at his age couldve done an epic fight scene xD)
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback