Related Articles: Movies, All

Kill Bill: Vol. 2

A bloody homage to the masters

Quentin Tarantino's second installment of his masterfully crafted Kill Bill couplet is less bloody than its counterpart but a lot more violent. This segment, after all, contains The Bride (Uma Thurman) aka Black Mamba's inevitable showdown with Bill (David Caradine).

We meet The Bride as she continues down her list o' death; next up is Budd (Michael Madsen). What follows could quite possibly be the most graphic, claustrophobia-inducing scene to date (just remember to breathe, and that's it just, after all, a movie). The standout segments are "The Cruel Tutelage of Pai Mei", played with relish by Chia Hui Liu aka Gordon Liu, in which we learn how our favorite little assassin got her training, and "Elle & I" the showdown of showdowns between The Bride and California Mountain Snake (Daryl Hannah). These two chapters seem to highlight Tarantino's signature campiness and pop sensibility the most- you see exactly why accolades like "brilliant" and "evil genius" are attributed to the director. On the whole, the standout soundtrack, lovingly composed by The RZA, will have you running out to the record store to swoop it up.

As you see in Vol. 1, Uma Thurman kicks some serious ass. Here her performance only exceeds her previous role. Furthermore, Pai Mei is every celluloid kung fu master who ever existed all rolled into one, just looking at the guy will make you laugh and send shivers down your spine all at once. While Elle brings the word 'bitch' to a whole new level; she has definitely earned her place on the Top Ten Villains Of All Time list. As for the big reunion with Bill- well, you'll just have to see what happens for yourself.

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 pays loving, if not bloody, homage to the kung fu movies that shaped a generation. It's a play on the cult films but definitely not a send-up; this isn't a comedy sketch on Saturday Night Live. The movie has too many glorious touches such as the earnest sentimentalities of honor, loyalty, revenge, love and sacrifice that provide the backbone of the plot for it to be a satire. While Kill Bill: Vol. 2 has its moments of absurd hilarity, its heart is quite serious as it bows down to the masters who came before it.