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The International Writers Magazine
: Film- KILL BILL Vol 2

Tarantino’s pet is quietly put down.
Kill Bill Volume Two falls into a deep sleep with an inferior mixture of supposed ‘cool’ dialogue and comical action sequences.
Ian Jordan

After months of anticipation inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s first blood-soaked instalment of martial arts frivolity, I held high expectations for the conclusion. Sadly I found an inferior mixture of supposed ‘cool’ dialogue and comical action sequences. Some may dispute that Tarantino only aims for the entertainment jugular and any search for deep or lasting meaning would prove futile.
However the fast paced, hard hitting, and bone breaking fun of the first fight has seemingly been diluted on this outing.

Admittedly Uma Thurman again shines as the bloodied and determined Bride. She has an attractive yet convincingly deadly presence throughout the action. And Daryl Hannah builds successfully upon her sinister role as Thurman’s embittered nemesis Elle, excelling in a slightly weightier role this time round. Despite these entertaining turns from the ladies, David Carridine’s Bill loses the haunting presence his disembodied voice provided in Kill Bill Volume One. As Carradine appears on screen he is exposed as a humorous and fairly normal figure, lacking the menace of a true villain. The final confrontation between the Bride and her ex-boss builds to a fittingly disappointing finish. Michael Madsens’ Budd in many ways fails to engage, although at times you do gain a slight sense of his tired anger.

The movie did still deliver some moments of quality, in particular the use of the black and white flashback of the wedding massacre. This provided the backdrop to the proceedings as well as giving useful information to the audience. Another strength arose in the burial scene. A clever use of darkness and sound drawing the audience into the Bride’s desperation, created a great amount of tension and claustrophobia. The desert setting that dominates the majority of the movie also adds to the feelings of isolation and fear. Unfortunately this is not enough to lift a series of disjointed and erratic sequences that fail to build at golden opportunities. Although forcing a few laughs the Brides training chapter becomes tiresome in its less than subtle attempts to amuse. And I could not help but be surprised by the overtly sentimental undertones to the film’s conclusion.

As per usual Tarantino does deliver with his trademark soundtrack, once again redefining nostalgic cool. Yet this seems all that his pet project aims to achieve; obscure filmic references and kitsch characters. Quentin Tarantino would be the first to admit that he made these two movies for himself and it is difficult to find fault with his intentions. All I would make comment on is the success of the first part to entertain and the inability of the second round to sustain that level of enjoyment. For an audience member unfamiliar with the directors’ martial arts inspirations and layers of insider jokes I had to take Kill Bill Volume Two at face value. Despite flashes of the humorous dialogue and interesting characterisation that Tarantino has previously established in his work, I found Kill Bill Volume Two flailing in the deadliness of its final blow.

© Ian Jordan May 2004

Ian is a 2nd Year Creative Arts student at Portsmouth University

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