The Bride of Tarantino Returns
So here we have it the second instalment of "Kill Bill", picking up where "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" left off. And to be honest everything I said about "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" could be recycled and said about "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" as they are really just one movie spoilt by being chopped in half. In fairness the continuing story of The Bride seeking revenge is entertaining and Tarantino continues to impress with his control and passion for the movie. In fact there is part of me which is edging towards saying that this second movie is better than the first as the focus alters slightly as whilst we still get plenty of butt kicking action the focus seems more on explaining things, developing relationships and delivering a few superior twists.
Still looking for revenge for her attempted murder The Bride (Uma Thurman - Gattaca) has two more members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad before she can come face to face with her former lover and mentor Bill (David Carradine - Bird on a Wire). But the last two assassins are harder than ever to beat especially as they are aware that she is coming after them. But she is desperate for that final confrontation with Bill and nothing will stop her even the unexpected.
So as already mentioned "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" pretty much picks up where the first movie left off and that means The Bride is still looking to avenge those who tried to kill her. What this basically means is that she goes after Budd and Elle whilst making her way to her former lover Bill. Now it's not all as straight forwards as The Bride killing these people and Tarantino serves up some imaginative scenes where things don't work out quite as planned for our heroine. One of the best sees The Bride being buried alive, entombed in a coffin in a grave.
What is so good about the action this time around is that it expands on how The Bride came to be such a trained fighter and a series of scenes where she trains under the pugnacious Pai Mei provide both humour and action. That doesn't mean the action is less impressive and is the same calibre of butt kicking which we witnessed in the first movie, in places it is even more powerful. And as well as explaining how The Bride became an assassin it also expands on her relationship with Bill as well as more lead up to the actual massacre at the chapel. This focus on building relationships and back stories helps to make this second movie feel complete and of course it helps that it also has a proper ending.
Whilst the story expectedly weaves its way to The Bride coming face to face with Bill in her quest for revenge it is again not as straightforward as you may expect. There is an amusing twist which delivers a surprise which helps not only to deliver more depth but also make this second movie longer. Actually that is one of the issues with this second movie as whilst not terribly long there are scenes which seem to go on longer than is necessary and cause it to run over 2 hours.
As for the acting well again Uma Thurman is the star and everything she did so well in the first movie she does again, delivering action, and drama with the mildest touch of comedy. And the rest of the cast is just as good be it Michael Madsen as Budd, Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver or the wonderful Chia Hui Liu who is comically eccentric and pugnacious as Pai Mei. But it is David Carradine as Bill who makes the biggest impact with his smoothness and charisma. It almost feels like he isn't doing anything, just being seriously cool yet it works especially in the scenes he shares with Uma.
What this all boils down to is that "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" is another very good movie and in some ways a little better than the first movie. There is still all the uniqueness of Tarantino's styling accompanied by plenty of action but it is the character developments, the expanding on the relationships and histories which help make it that little bit better. Yes it is still friggin annoying that what would have been an amazing movie was sliced in half but watched one after another on DVD and it works.