Kill Bill Vol. 2 (18)
Time Out saysThe first 'volume' (choice word) of Tarantino's magnum movie-magpie opus announced itself as 'The fourth film by Quentin Tarantino'. Does that make this companion piece - clocking in at a voluminous 136 mins - his fourth-and-a-half? His fifth? It feels like he's cramming in his sixth, seventh and eighth. Wait six years for one of the geek lord's genre riffs, and then a cartridge-belt of them comes along at once. Those turned off by the first part's reckless, relentless violent purges - and its brazen movie-saturated superficiality - aren't likely to find cause for conversion, but Vol. 2 certainly broadens the tale's remit, even as it aims to deepen it. There's more genre shading - everything from Leone and Peckinpah Westerns, through Chinese martial artistry, to nihilist noir, set out like a fanboy flip book - but character and dialogue, too, to ground the outbursts of lethal action. There are more flashbacks to the Bride's backstory, more reflection ('We deserve to die,' Madsen's Budd rather movingly introspects, before reverting to trigger-happy trailer-trash type); Bill (Carradine) is revealed as a mean, melodious Tarantino archetype; all the while the Bride (Thurman) runs the gamut of life lessons, from up the aisle to back from the grave. Does it cohere? Is there a point? Hasn't the movies' great Orobos snake made a meal of his own tail? KBV2's pathos is a stretch: I'm not sure about an assassin who flunks her assignment at the sight of a home pregnancy-test kit; nor about Tarantino's sentimental blue streak now, after all his merciless groundwork. But you have to admire the chutzpah with which he puts it over.
Cast and crew
Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, Gordon Liu, Michael Parks, Perla Haney-Jardine, Ambrosia Kelly, James Parks, Michael Bowen, Bo Svenson, Vivica A Fox, Lucy Liu, David Carradine, Uma Thurman, Samuel L Jackson