HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Kill Bill: Volume 2 Uma Or Later
Year: 2004
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, Gordon Liu, Michael Parks, Perla Haney-Jardine, Chris Nelson, Bo Svenson, Sid Haig, Samuel L. Jackson
Genre: Action, Thriller, Martial Arts, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 7 votes)
Review: Against all expectations, Quentin Tarantino’s second helping of exploitation revenge homage does feel like a different film to its blistering predecessor. It’s slower, longer, less immediate – and considerably less violent – but proves a fitting end to the tale.

We pick up the story as The Bride (Uma Thurman) moves onto the remaining two members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad – Budd/Sidewinder (Michael Madsen) and Elle Driver/California Mountain Snake (Daryl Hannah) – and their boss and her former lover, Bill (David Carradine). Budd, who we learn is Bill’s estranged brother, is now living in the desert and working as a strip club doorman. Alone amongst his ex-colleagues, he expresses guilt about the way they massacred The Bride’s wedding party and put her in a four-year coma; as he tells Bill: "We deserve to die." Nevertheless, he wins their first showdown, and The Bride ends up buried alive in the Texan desert.

Kill Bill: Volume 2 is all about confounding expectation, both in content and characterisation. The Bride (whose real name is revealed to be Beatrix Kiddo) has two big confrontations with Bill, in flashback at the beginning and, of course, at the film’s climax. Neither are exactly what we anticipate – we know that Bill is a ruthless killer, but the sheer charisma that David Carradine brings to the role surprises. Undeniably, Bill deserves to die – but he’s so damn charming that you kind of don’t want him to. The same can’t be said of Elle Driver – easily the nastiest of the gang, Daryl Hannah relishes her venomous part, while Michael Madsen’s Budd is paunchy, balding and world-weary, a complete flip-side to his Reservoir Dogs character.

However, the biggest surprise of all is in the tone. Gone is Volume 1’s extreme comic book rush, the dazzlingly colourful cinematography and spectacular cartoonish violence; there’s also nothing here as audacious as the O-Ren Ishii anime sequence. Advance word suggested that whereas the first part was heavily influenced by Japanese swordplay movies, this second film would takes its debt from kung fu flicks. There is an hilarious, spoofy flashback sequence in which we see Beatrix receive her training from grouchy beard-stroking martial arts mentor Pai Mei (Gordon Liu, making a second appearance in the epic), but largely this is Tarantino’s Spaghetti Western, from Robert Rodriguez's music and muted photography to the languid pace and desert setting of the first half. The violence is less frequent but grittier – there’s nothing on the scale of the House of Blue Leaves massacre, and the fights all take place on an intimate scale with some squirm-inducing nastiness (including the best bit of eyeball violation since the heady days of Lucio Fulci).

The film is entirely engrossing but not without flaws. Tarantino may have initially simply chopped a three hour film in half, but with an extra couple of months to play with he’s clearly gone back an reinserted a load of material. Volume 2 runs well over the two-hour mark now, and some of the first hour could’ve been cut back... we know his characters like to talk, but here the dialogue sometimes seems a little superfluous. And I’m not sure Tarantino’s attempt to give his story a human dimension sits that comfortably with the hyper-realistic world it’s set in. As mentioned at the end of Volume 1, Beatrix’s daughter is still alive, and much of the last section revolves around her discovery of this. The staging of Beatrix and Bill’s final confrontation is beautifully acted by Thurman and Carradine, but never quite hits the emotional height that Tarantino was aiming for.

In the end, it is somewhat ironic that Tarantino takes three-and-a-half-hours to tell a simple story of revenge that most of his idols would have had sewn up in 90 minutes. But there's no denying his utter devotion to the genre(s) – so much so that he can hardly bear to say goodbye to his creations; as cinematic love letters go, Kill Bill has few peers. Watch for cameos from cult movie heroes Bo Svenson, Sid Haig and the ubiquitous Samuel L. Jackson.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 9810 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Quentin Tarantino  (1963 - )

American writer/director and one of the most iconic filmmakers of the 1990s. The former video store clerk made his debut in 1992 with the dazzling crime thriller Reservoir Dogs, which mixed razor sharp dialogue, powerhouse acting and brutal violence in controversial style. Sprawling black comedy thriller Pulp Fiction was one of 1994's biggest hits and resurrected John Travolta's career, much as 1997's Elmore Leonard adaptation Jackie Brown did for Pam Grier.

A five year gap preceeded Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Volume 2, a spectacular, ultra-violent martial arts homage. Tarantino also provided screenplays for True Romance, From Dusk Till Dawn and Natural Born Killers (subsequently disowned after Oliver Stone rewrote his script), and directed a quarter of the woeful Four Rooms. More recently, he helped out on Robert Rodriguez's Sin City then teamed up with him for double feature Grindhouse and began to prepare his long-promised World War II movie Inglourious Basterds, which he followed with racially charged Spaghetti Western homages Django Unchained and power play musings The Hateful Eight. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood was a radical rewriting of the Manson Family murders, in extreme bad taste that was somehow excused by many.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: