Kill Bill: Vol. 2

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     It is quite a shock seeing Kill Bill: Vol. 2 after seeing Kill Bill: Vol. 1.  I was not prepared for the near absence of violence.  Actually, there's a fair bit of violence but compared to Vol. 1, there's nothing.  In fact, only four and possibly only three people die in Kill Bill: Vol. 2. What does Uma Thurman, a.k.a. The Bride, do if she isn't slicing the tops of people's heads off all the time, you may ask. Well, she talks. This is a talky movie. Thurman does pick up where she left off in Vol. 1 on her list of things to do, i.e., killing all of her former associates in the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad.  Two down, three to go. She knocked off Lucy Liu, Vivica Fox and the Crazy 88's in Vol. 1. Now she is on the trail of Darryl Hannah, Michael Madsen and David Carradine a.k.a. Bill).  We also get a lot of backstory.  We find out how Thurman got so good with a sword, what happened with her and Bill and, of course, we get to see her Kill Bill. Oh gosh, there I've gone and done it. I spoiled the ending.

    Kill Bill: Vol. 2 will feel awfully slow to you. After the non-stop action and bloodbath of Vol. 1, the new film creeps along. This isn't bad but it's not what I expected. Don't worry, Uma gets her revenge. And there are one or two icky scenes involving eyeballs. But mostly, this is a story about love gone wrong and a person (Bill) overreacting by trying to kill his pregnant ex-girlfriend (Uma) at her wedding and then a person (Uma) overreacting, well maybe not, by trying to Kill Bill.  Thurman is very good in Vol. 2 as she was in Vol. 1.  The fact that Kill Bill: Vol. 2 is as good as it is, is a testament to the acting of her and also of David Carradine.  Since he made Kung Fu, over thirty years ago, Carradine has acted in many, many movies and Tv shows that I somehow missed.  But, one of the sweet things about Tarantino (the only sweet thing?), is that he casts old actors in his movies whom we haven't seen for years (or in the case of the Asian actors, whom we never saw). Anyway, Carradine is excellent in Kill Bill: Vol. 2.  He's starting to look a lot like his dad. Madsen does a nice, understated bit as Bill's brother which sets off nicely against the over-the-top performance of Hannah. The fight between Hannah and Thurman in a double-wide trailer is exciting, funny and gross in turns.

    In the end, Kill Bill: Both Volumes are further soulless creations of Quentin Tarantino, following Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.  They are very entertaining and I even appreciate a few of the less obscure homages that make up these films.  Tarantino cam put together a movie like no one else but I hope that he'll make one from the heart some day, if he has a heart. Anyway, if you saw Vol. 1, you gotta see Vol. 2.  It's definitely worth the trip to the theatre, if only just to see Thurman and Carradine trade barbs, both verbal and non-verbal.