Kill Bill Vol 2
It is misleading to call Vol 2 the sequel to Vol 1 – it is merely the continuation of the unfinished story. And the opening credits indicate as much: the title does not appear, only Uma Thurman’s name and the words “vol 2”.
Nevertheless, Vol 2 is markedly different from Vol 1, particularly in mood. Whereas Vol 1 was fueled by adrenaline and vengeance, Vol 2 is sentimental, restrained, and almost bittersweet at the end. It is also much more “Tarantino” in terms of the dialogue –> esp like how Bill compared Beatrix to Superman, in that their cloak of normalcy conceals their true identity, in B’s case, a killer who likes what she does. [Superman’s creation of his Clark Kent alter ego is also supposedly a critique of how he views human beings, weak and indecisive — way cool]
Also loved the flashback to B’s training with Pai Mei, undoubtedly it would be much more humorous to Asians exposed to old kungfu films. The cinematography itself is a tribute to these films.
Although the pace of the movie was a little slow, esp compared to Vol 1, there’s still the central fight scene between Elle Drive (Daryl Hannah in a stupendous performance) and B. Elle is probably the only character that shows no humanity or remorse over what she has done, much like a grown up, ang moh version of Gogo in Vol 1. Her malevolence just shimmers out of the screen, though it was pretty hilarious when she described from a notebook the effects of a black mamba’s venom to Budd. And the awesome way she is KO’d, when B plucks out her remaining eye (no doubt revenge for Pai Mei, whom Elle poisons) and left her with the black mamba. [By the way, the way the black mamba attacked Budd was too gruesome for me, with my fear of all snakes — had me flinchng in my seat]
The ending was appropriate, when B used the five step heart stealing technique (bad translation, sorry) to kill Bill. It was earlier recounted by Bill that Pai Mei did not teach him the skill, so it surprised him when B knew it. And they had a poignant last conversation, which showed that B still loved him, before he stands up and takes his last five steps. Given that we knew B would kill Bill, it was a pleasant surprise the way he dies, not in a slash fest like in Vol 1.
Overall, a very entertaining film, with an emotional core hitherto thought missing. [Sidenote: loved how B reacted to seeing her daughter BB, and partook in the playacting scene – hilarious!]