Cast: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, Sonny Chiba
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Genres: Action/Adventure and Thriller
Box Office: $66,207,920 (USA)
Trivia: The Bride never actually says anything to Budd.
Budd: Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey.
Bill: [dying] How do I look?
The Bride: You look ready.
[his opinion of Tommy]
Bill: When I first saw him… I like his hair.
The Bride: You promised you’d be nice.
Bill: No, I said I’d do my best. That’s hardly a promise.
The Bride: I’m the deadliest woman in the world. But right now, I’m just scared ****less for my baby.
It is hard enough to find a director that could make an implausible subject as the one in Kill Bill, and make it work. It is as equally harder to pull great performances, physically and emotionally, out of actors. QT manages to do that with every film.
Kill Bill was Uma Thurman at her BEST. This was Uma’s role. She embodied the character of the bride and made us believe in her…we wanted vengence for her..we cheered for every sword stroke in that film. However, Vol. 2 was David Carradine’s movie. Like deja vu, QT has pulled an absolutely BRILLIANT performance from an actor many only remember from the Kung Fu TV show. Bill is not a Hollywood villan. He is not a coward in the face of death nor does he set up elaborate traps for the hero to get out of. Bill is an evil man who has made peace with the fact that he is evil a long tima ago. He is comfortable with death whether it is his own or someone else’s. And as an added bonus…BILL IS FUNNY AS HELL!! Carradine hardly blinks when he makes the audience laugh. When he speaks, the audience pays attention. His stories are strangely scary, because the intensity in his eyes say to his audience: “I could kill you, but I’d like to tell you a story first”. Bill is like a warm-hearted grandfather or your favorite uncle. It just so happens that he kills human beings for a living. QT has made a film that any aspiring filmmaker would love to pick apart,but why? Vol 2 is just and experience that needs to just be enjoyed. But somehow I wish there were a volume 3.
Apart from Pai Mei, there are numerous top-notch sequences in Kill Bill: Volume 2 where it is readily apparent one is watching the work of a master filmmaker. In one case, The Bride is buried alive. We feel as though we’re trapped inside that coffin with her, as the rumble of dirt crashing onto the lid echoes through the darkened cinema. The best fight sequence in the film, maybe even both films, comes during the final confrontation between The Bride and Elle. It is short and intense, never losing the audience’s full attention (as the endless culminating fight eventually did in Volume 1), and wraps up with a single moment that had the whole theatre cheering. Such an accomplishment cannot be overstated, since Elle is really a peripheral character.
Overlength is the single factor that mars this film, which in a way is totally unexpected. Some of Tarantino’s very best work runs about 150 minutes, and every second is worthwhile. Here, running about 135 minutes, the climax is nearly 40 minutes long and really feels protracted. Perhaps this does reflect some weakness in The Bride and Bill as characters, since it would be enjoyable to listen to Jackie Brown, Max Cherry or Jules Winnfield converse all day long. The dialogue between them here is strong, and it is hard to even pinpoint what deserves to be cut, but the breakneck pace really screeches to a halt right when excitement should be hitting a crescendo.
Nevertheless, take five, ten, or 15 steps to see Kill Bill: Volume 2. It’s is a Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique caliber rush of pure adrenaline and fun.