Kill Bill Vol 2
- Uma Thurman as The Bride/Beatrix Kiddo
- David Carradine as Bill
- Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver
- Michael Madsen as Budd
- Gordon Liu as Pai Mei
Following on from the events of Vol 1, Kill Bill Vol 2 makes for cool, stylish viewing. Whereas the first volume was focused more on action, this volume zeroes in on the dramatic and emotional undercurrent of The Bride’s journey to avenge her near death experience. It all proves for a satisfying conclusion to this revenge saga.
Having battled her way through old adversaries who turned her wedding day into a massacre, The Bride now has three people left on her kill list. These consist of Budd, Elle Driver and last but not least Bill. Along the way, she encounters someone she never thought she would see again that could change the course of her revenge filled journey. But in Tarantino’s trademark non-linear way of telling us the story, we are given bits of knowledge about some unanswered questions. We see The Bride attempting to live another life by marrying someone only to have it snatched from her, her tutelage under the cruel but rewarding Martial Arts expert Pai Mei and finally find out her real name, Beatrix Kiddo. Through flashbacks, visual references to a multitude of genres and some searing performances, Tarantino keeps us entertained whilst delivering some drama to the tale, which he pulls off very well indeed.
I’ve heard many say that Vol 1 is the better of the two and I am inclined to agree. But I still enjoyed Vol 2 because of the way Tarantino injects some poignancy into The Bride’s journey and glimpses her relentless pursuit for those who betrayed her. It may not have as much action as the first installment, but Vol 2 is equally as thrilling and absorbing as its predecessor. There still is some amazing action sequences, including a fierce duel with the one-eyed Elle in a desert trailer, that make for great viewing, especially in regards to the choreography of the fight. Other highlights are The Bride’s eventual emergence as a warrior under the teaching of Pai Mei and how it benefits her and a black and white flashback that reveals the strange relationship between The Bride and Bill. As with most of Tarantino’s movies,the kinetic and flashy editing is marvellous and complemented by another genre busting soundtrack.
The cast fill out Tarantino’s eclectic characters with impressive results. Returning as the revenge seeking Bride, Uma Thurman delivers another intense performance as we watch her relentless search for payback. Thurman also manages to deliver poignant work in the way she shows how much The Bride has lost in the past and how all of her pain has now transformed into uncontrollable rage that can’t be measured. Whether clawing her way through dirt after being buried alive or dueling with her enemies with a lethal Samurai sword, The Bride is one woman who will never give up and will kill anyone in her path. David Carradine is great as the eponymous Bill, whose betrayal has set in motion this chain of blood soaked carnage. His scenes with Thurman are extremely impressive, their showdown of wills and confessions makes for dramatic viewing to say the least. Daryl Hannah is on villainous form as the vindictive assassin Elle, her duel with The Bride provides an action filled highlight to the picture. Michael Madsen plays another of The Bride’s targets Budd, who is more than prepared for her arrival and finds an interesting way of trying to kill her.
By giving us an emotional undercurrent to the story, Tarantino succeeds in balancing brutal violence and revelations with aplomb. Vol 2 proves dramatic, startling and compulsive viewing.