Kill Bill: Vol. 2
Directed by Quentin Tarantino (2004)
jusco’s Rating: ★★★1/2
Was I satisfied with the finale of Tarantino’s epic 4-hour Kill Bill (I combine Vol. 1 and 2 because you can’t watch one volume and not watch the other; it’s the same as watching just half of any film)? Yes. Did Vol. 2 reach the high standards set by Vol. 1 (read my review here)? Not quite, but nevertheless it was still entertaining. Immediately, you’ll realise that there is more talking and less action than in the first volume. Several things happen: The Bride deals with the final two assassins, a flashback of her martial arts training with a Chinese master is shown and we finally get to see Bill (his face was unrevealed in the first volume).
The pace significantly slowed down in comparison to its predecessor but it does relatively manage to maintain the suspense just enough to keep us riveted. A long-drawn flashback to the events that occurred in The Bride’s wedding chapel was much too lengthy for its own good and unnecessary. The Bride’s interaction with the last two assassins felt a bit disappointing. This time, it is China and its martial arts that provide the bulk of homages in the film (the first volume being Japan), presenting Pai Mei, the legendary master who teaches The Bride.
But it is David Carradine that shines as Bill. My first impression of his performance as the titular character was that it felt much too unnatural, too over-acted. But overtime, I came to accept that it was unusually fitting of the ruthless nature unique to his particular character. The way he talks, every move he makes seems perfectly calculated. We come to understand why people fear him. Bill is deadly, make no mistake.
Though not as commendable as Vol. 1, Vol. 2 brings sufficient closure to one of Tarantino’s greatest films. It was an exceptional ride and you can only feel happy for The Bride at the end. People ask what’s the point of this film; but then again, our world craves senseless violence, so I think I can confidently state the reason why this film is so popular is because there are a lot of people out there entertained by excessive violence. The threatening consequences of our dying morals is a topic for another time. I suspect this full-length feature inclusive of Vol. 1 and 2 was made for the sole intention of gratifying Tarantino’s infatuation to create something that is just shocking and purely violent. Talk about intense self-indulgence. But if we were ultimately entertained, I guess that can be pardoned.