I think of Quentin Tarantino as a nouveau gourmet chef, whose meals are
trendy, but exquisitely prepared, beautifully presented, and uniquely
his own. His recipes include classic and traditional ingredients, which
in this case, come from the rich garden of film genres. "Kill Bill:
Volume 2" is Tarantino at his best, mixing together different styles,
ranging from the classic entree of "film noire" to the more modern
decadent dessert fare of ultra-violence. Where his true talent shows
is how he blends these styles together coherently and tastefully.
The best part of it all is that even if the meal (or any portion of it)
isn't your cup of tea, you can't help but admire all the aspects of what
it is and how it was made.
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The plot is a classic: Uma Thurman goes on a vengeance against her
ex-boss/lover, who showed up at her wedding and massacred the groom and
his family and everyone else there. Sticking true to the baseline genre
of Film Noire, which includes the Western genre with different costumes,
the reason why any of this happens and the discovery of the truth are the
main thrust of the plot line. One never gets tired of a good story told a
million times, but what makes this different is how well the story is
told, how the scenes were shot, the construction of script, and the
blend of modernity with classic styles. It's as though the reproduction
is better than the original.
Uma Thurman, who co-wrote the film with Tarantino, plays the role
titled only as "The Bride" (although there's a reference to her as
"Black Mamba," which refers to a deadly venomous snake). She immediately
engages and draws the audience into each segment, moving the story along
swiftly, but without rushing it. Scenes are slow and deliberate, allowing
the action scenes to punctuate through like a tree in a desert. Bill,
played by David Carradine, is perfectly cast as the Chinese martial arts
philosopher/assassin, who raises and influences Thurman's character,
just as was his background in the 1970s television series, "Kung Fu."
Given the obvious correllation, you'd think this was satirical, yet
most of Kill Bill is more of a salute to the various genres it depicts;
in fact, if anything, the film adorns the styles without overdoing
them. Complete with the musical soundtrack and the 70's-style camera
zooms during the martial arts fighting, Carradine doesn't have to even
do anything physical to draw you attention to the Kung Fu reference. His
mere presence is enough.
"Kill Bill: Vol 2" is the second of a two-part movie, originally written
and shot as one, but split at the last minute to avoid the stigma and
box-office catastrophy of a four-hour film. The good news is that Volume
2 doesn't require seeing Volume 1, which to this reviewer, was a weaker
film anyway. At well over two hours, Volume 2 is entertainment enough, but
for those who want even more, the DVD version of the film will undoutedly
have a lot more from both films that wasn't shown in theaters.
You can hear the audio review of this movie here.
You can find this movie on the internet database here:
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