Let me start off by saying that Quinten Tarentino is a very weird guy. I have seem all of his movies except “Resevoir Dogs,” and they all have one thing in common: They have at least one scene that makes me think “huh?”
“Kill Bill” is no exception to his avant guarde style, and volume one and volume two are literally two halves of a whole. Therefore, elements of both movies must be considered in a review.
In “Kill Bill: Volume 2,” Uma Thurman (star of the recent action flick, “Paycheck”) reprises her role as “The Bride,” a former assassin who is left for dead her wedding rehearsal by her ex-boyfriend, Bill, and his “Deadly Viper Assassination Squad” after she tries to run away and start a new life.
The Bride (a character, it’s worth noting created by Thurman and Tarentino), who was pregnant when she was shot, awakes three years later in a coma ward to find she is no longer pregnant and has been suffering abuse from one of the orderlies. Recalling what was done to her, The Bride sets off on a bloody (and I mean bloody) rampage of revenge, slaughtering the assassination squad and (almost) anyone who gets in her way.
This rampage is set to end with Bill, but when his reckoning finally arrives, Bill has a huge surprise waiting for the bride.
Swords have always held me in thrall since I saw “Highlander.” “Kill Bill” shows a little more of what happens when someone is diced by a sword, however. People’s limbs go flying, and blood sprays the walls. This movie is 100 percent not for kids.
I think violence should advance a plotline if there’s going to be any, but “Kill Bill’s” violence doesn’t even come close to advancing the plotline. On the other hand, the violence is so silly and overdone, that no adult watching the movie could take it seriously. At times the gore is remniscent of a Monty Python sketch.
My favorite aspect of this movie is the way Tarentino shifts from genre to genre throughout the film (or both films). We have a live-action anime style movie, an animated anime movie, a Hong Kong action flick and a thriller all smooshed together with Tarentino’s weirdness in such a way that, surprisingly, one can still follow the plot.
Uma Thurman glides through these transitions just as effortlessly as Tarentino does, switching the intensity of her character from muted to exaggerated whenever the movie style calls for it.
The other famous names in this movie played their parts well, Michael Madsen (“Resevoir Dogs’” Mr. Blonde) is his usual Bruce Willis-imitating self, Lucy Lui is a great Japanese crime boss and David Caradine does a great job of being an increadibly cruel assassin who still truly loves his target; but the true surprise in this movie is Daryl Hannah.
Personally, I have only seen Hannah play female leads, love interests and a mermaid, so seeing her as one of the most evil and ruthless members of the assassanation squad was refreshing and surprising. Hannah played her part perfectly, and made me want to see the character get what was coming to her.
Although the violence is heavy and the shifting genre’s may throw some people off, Kill Bill is still full of awesome action and talented actors. People should only see this movie if they are big fans of violent action movies, or if they are a fan of Tarentino’s (I am both), and for the people who meet these requirements I give the movie a four on the Film-o-Meter.
Show: Kill Bill: Volume 2
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox
Summary: An assassin is left for dead at her wedding rehearsal by her former boss/lover, Bill. She wakes up and begins extracting a bloody (there’s that word again) revenge.
Rating: R for violence (duh), language and brief drug use.
1 — Actively avoid this movie.
2 — Watch it if a friend rents it.
3 — Rent it.
4 — Worth a matinee.
5 — Go see this movie.
Ben Kessler is a former moving image arts student and a long-time film buff. He can be reached at: