HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Await Further Instructions
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
In Order of Disappearance
Charlotte's Web
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Shoplifters
Redeemer
   
 
Newest Articles
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
   
 
  Kill Bill: Volume 2 Uma Or LaterBuy this film here.
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, Trash
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 8107 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 The Hateful Eight.

 
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 do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: