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Kill Bill Vol. 2
Posted to Movies at 09:21 PM on Jan 18, 2007

2004. Miramax Films. Directed by Quentin Tarantino. Starring Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, and Daryl Hannah.

I'd forgotten how much I loved this movie until I caught it on TBS last weekend. There are so many things about this movie that work for me. Lots of people loved the first installment and were disappointed in this one. I can see why: it's slow. It's talky. The story is required to switch gears in a very unexpected way. Where Volume 1 is an homage to Kung Fu movies, Volume 2 borrows heavily from 50's melodramas. The pacing is different, the lighting is different, and, well, there's not a lot of ass-kicking.

In a nutshell: an assassin (Thurman) retires and settles down. Her boss/lover, Bill (Carradine) nearly kills her. The assassin seeks revenge against Bill and every one of his associates but discovers things are not all as they seem.

I hadn't seen Daryl Hannah in anything since Splash and always sore of got the impression she wasn't much of an actress, just based on things I'd heard from other people. She's the best thing in this movie, frankly. She's a funny, vicious, spiteful counterpoint to Thurman's newly enlightened mom.

Tarantino's characters are very rarely people anyone can relate to. In Beatrix (Thurman), we see someone who is forced to become a totally different person on a moment's notice. Twice. My favorite scene is the hotel room scene. Beatrix has just gotten the most important piece of news of her life, and she finds out on the job. What follows is sweet, funny, and realistic.

Tarantino is, by far, my favorite director, but even I admit, he goes overboard a good deal of the time. He can be less than subtle and half as sensitive, but he manages to get everything right in this movie, and I think that's largely because Uma Thurman co-wrote the script. To me, that shows a good deal of wisdom on Tarantino's part.


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