Movie Reviews: Kill Bill Volume 2




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     Miramax (2 hrs.)
     A former hit lady swears revenge on her boss who betrayed her.
     Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Samuel L. Jackson
Bottom Line:


"Kill Bill Vol. 2," ties up several loose ends left dangling at the end of "Kill Bill Vol.1." How did The Bride (Uma Thurman) become a martial arts expert and assassin? And who is Bill (David Carradine)?

However, "Kill Bill Vol. 2" slows to a crawl in answering those burning questions and revealing that The Bride quit the Deadly Viper Squad after discovering she was pregnant.

We learn that her real name is Beatrix, and she was trained in deadly martial arts by Pei Mei (Gordon Liu Jia-hui) a white-eyebrowed-monk, who only trains the most serious students. He teaches The Bride three key maneuvers which will pay off in dividends during the course of the picture.

When The Bride faces another female assassin, she begs the woman to walk away so she can be a mother and raise her child. The femme fatale spares The Bride’s life. The Bride then quits the Viper Squad and plans to marry a record shop owner in a small Texas town. During their wedding rehearsal, the Viper Squad shows up and guns down the entire wedding party. Miraculously The Bride survives the assassination attempt and lapses into a four-year coma. When she wakes up, she vows to kill Bill and the entire Viper Squad, and so the saga begins.

Having dispatched two of the five Deadly Vipers, O-Ren (Lucy Lu) and Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox), in the first picture, The Bride goes after Bill’s brother Bud (Michael Madsen) and Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah), a former Pei Mei student and her rival for Bill’s affections.

Bud manages to bushwhack The Bride before she can strike, and arranges a claustrophobic "Texas burial." (Buried alive) Hang onto your popcorn, the scene is chilling. However, The Bride escapes and finds herself in an eye-gouging, poison snake throwing, fight-to-the-death with Elle Driver inside Bud’s mobile home.

Saving Bill for last, The Bride tracks him down to South America, where he’s living on a large ranch with a daughter he claims is both his and The Bride’s. Of course, director Quentin Tarantino works like Hitchcock. There’s always a rub and a wicked twist as things are never quite as they seem.

The samurai sword fight between The Bride and O-Ren Ishi (Lucy Liu) in "Vol. 1." is the climax of the series. The cinematography and choreography in that film is exquisite. Any other scene in the movie falls flat in comparison.

"Vol.2" is by no means a bad film. It’s entertaining, quirky and works best when its dark humor is present. However, Tarantino set the bar too high in the first installment, and adrenaline-free "Vol. 2" forgot to shoot the stimulant into its intake values.



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