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Here comes The Bride, and she has some unfinished business to attend to. In Vol. 1, she cut a bloody swath of grind-house style revenge, the likes of which moviegoers had never seen before. Now, with Cottonmouth and Copperhead both out of the way, two more of her DiVAS associates are set to fall victim to the venomous wrath of the Black Mamba. If all goes as planned, this deadly chain of events will lead The Bride to the very source of her unrestrained maternal rage, that old snake charmer himself... Bill.
I've come to expect a lot from Quentin Tarantino. What I had forgotten to expect from him was the unexpected! How could I have known that Kill Bill: Vol. 1, the spiralling, non-stop thrill ride of over-the-top action, was only a precursor to whet our appetites for the magnificent cinematic feast that is Kill Bill: Vol. 2? With Vol. 2, Tarantino shifts away from flashy stunts to focus more sharply on character development. Who is Bill? How did The Bride come to learn her lethal skills? And how did this awesome bloodbath of death and destruction really begin? Vol. 2 has all the answers; answers that somehow make all that murderous mayhem of Vol. 1 even better!
I was also amazed that, while both volumes of Kill Bill share the same storyline, they take such different paths to tell it! Either Tarantino always secretly intended them to be separate, or he's the greatest film editor on the planet. The odds are even as to which of these is true! However, don't think for a second that Vol. 2 is a complete departure from Vol.1. For those with the Quentin-esque sense of humor, Vol. 2 still offers some incredible action sequences that are both funny and excruciatingly painful to watch. How many other movie makers can make an entire audience laugh and cringe at the same time? Whatever the number, Tarantino does it best.
As for Tarantino's directorial choices, Vol. 2 kicks the Sergio Leone homage up a notch, combining it with the grainy visual style of a 1970's Kung Fu epic, then infusing everything with dialogue akin to his own Quent-essential work, Pulp Fiction. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Tarantino does it best!
On the acting front, everyone was fantastic! However, I must single out David Carradine as the highlight. Carradine's portrayal of Bill was simply outstanding. He manages to bestow the dangerous and shadowy figure of Vol. 1 with a surprisingly believable amount of pathos, while never losing that air of menacing bravado. A classy performance, and a truly classic character.
So, if you thought Kill Bill: Vol. 1 was a blast, then get ready for another explosive round! Revenge is sweet, Kiddo, revenge is sweet...
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Written By: Q & U
Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, Gordon Liu, Perla Haney-Jardine
MPAA: Rated R for violence, language and brief drug use.