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Kill Bill, Vol. 2

a film by Quentin Tarantino

If Kill Bill, Volume 1 was the angry visceral Yang full of blood and guts, then Volume 2 is the more down to earth (almost, warm-hearted) Yin. Sure, there's still the epic violence, but here it's more muted beneath the dialogue that harkens memories of Pulp Fiction. Part 1 was the grandiose spectacle - Part 2 is its resolutory life partner. Equal in quality but polar opposites in technique and style. Remember, opposites do attract.

Kicking between super widescreen technicolor to digital video vamping to black & white backstories, Kill Bill 2 is a film lovers dream-come-true.  Like seeing all angles at once, it is obvious that Tarantino loves the Art of Film - not just movie-making, but the Art that is so lost in today's modern American Cinema.

Uma Thurman (who co-created and co-wrote the script with best friend Quentin Tarantino) here transcends time and space and is thrown full force into the embodiment of iconography. Her performance (near-camp) is a bizzarely stylized tour-de-force of cinematic unashamedness.

Meanwhile, David Carradine (the afore aloof title character, who may talk more in this one film than the entirity of the Kung-Fu TV series) goes even further over the proverbial top - a thing that in almost any other film would be a bad idea, but here only adds to the power of the bold, brash hyper-sensitivity of Tarantino's split-up masterpiece of style. And the entire time he's flying over the top, Carradine is somehow grounded in an etheralness that no other actor could pull off in this role (a role made for him). In fact, you may even grow to like the character more than you thought you would.

In one scene, where Bill is matter-of-factly telling a story of a dead goldfish, while preparing baloney sandwiches with a much-larger-than-needed knife, you can see the true subtle undertones of his performance. (note to would-be actors: watch this scene / memorize this scene / be in awe of this scene).

Replete with homages to everything from Spaghetti Westerns (even splicing some borrowed music from Ennio Morricone) to seventies Kung-Fu films to create some sort of Cinephiliatic French New Wave revival, Kill Bill, Volume Deux screams with the lungs of an avenging angel and the heart of a cold-blooded killer-for-hire - as well as the finely tuned and beautifully warped mind of a true Cinematic love child. [04/19/04]

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