Sunday, March 30, 2014

SINS OF OMISSION - Entry #6: Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)


Running Time: 137 minutes
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Written By: Quentin Tarantino
Main Cast: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, Perla Haney-Jardine
Click here to view the trailer

WHAT IS A "SIN OF OMISSION"?
As noted many times in the recent past here at the "1001 Movies I (Apparently) Must See Before I Die" blog, in the next 12 - 18 months the ultimate goal of this blog will transform from 'one man's journey to watch all 1001 movies in the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" book' to 'one man's journey to create his own, personal canon of 1,000 favorite films and show "those 1001 people" just how it's done! Sins of Omission will become a regular feature on the blog where I'll take one film that WAS NOT included in any incarnation of the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" book and DOES NOT appear on the next list of 1000 films that I plan to tackle, give it a formal review and make it a permanent part of my list, which is entitled: 1000 Films You REALLY Should See Before You Die: A Personal, Ongoing Canon of My 1,000 Favorite FIlms.

ROARING RAMPAGE OF REVENGE!

Did you miss me? Something told me you guys could use some new reading material, so here I am to present you with the sixth entry in the SINS OF OMISSION series - a series that allows me the opportunity to propel some of my old favorites (pre-1001 BOOK) directly into my personal 1,000 best list, which is carefully being constructed. Since I'm currently working on an some outside projects, particularly one that involves David Carradine's Bill character, I thought I'd take the opportunity to put this one on my list. However, this will not be a new entry. On my list, KILL BILL VOL. 2 appears as one entry, combined with KILL BILL VOL. 1. Makes sense, right? Anyway, read on...


So Volume 2 picks up right where Volume 1 left off, with The Bride (Thurman) having already killed two of the five people on her Death List Five. The only three that remain are Bill (of course), his brother Budd (Madsen) and his current muse, Elle Driver (Hannah). The film begins by flashing back to that fateful wedding day (which was in fact a wedding dress rehearsal) and Bill's first appearance (onscreen) in the whole bloody affair. Bill has a talk with The Bride (whom we later learned is actually named Beatrix Kiddo), which seems to be fairly pleasant, before we learn that Bill is still harboring some sour grapes, thus sending in his team of assassins to wipe out the wedding party. Flashback to the present, as we follow The Bride as she tracks Budd, who lives in a mobile home, out in the middle of nowhere. Budd actually gets the jump on Kiddo, by unloading a shotgun blast of rock salt into her chest, right before he ties her up and buries her alive, under a grave stone marked Paula Schultz. While underground, Kiddo remembers the "cruel tutelage of Pai Mei", which actually took place years earlier, when Bill dropped her off to become the warrior she is today. She remembers how her ultra cruel instructor would make her break wood with her fists, thus allowing her to summon her teachings and break out of her coffin and crawl up out of the ground. Meanwhile, Budd makes a deal with Elle Driver - he'll give her The Bride's Hattori Hanzo sword in exchange for $1 million in cash. Elle agrees and this all leads to a showdown at Budd's mobile palace between him, Elle and the recently unearthed Bride. Of course, that's not to mention the grand finale which involves a regretful Bill.

SPOILER ALERT!


You know, speaking of The Bride crawling up out of the ground, I think that's the one thing about this movie I really don't like. I mean, why weren't we given the part of Kiddo's back story where she goes to groundhog training and learns to burrow up out of the ground? Anyway, it's nitpicky shit, but last night, when I watched this, it really took me out of the whole picture.

Besides that, I mean - how awesome is this flick? I can remember KILL BILL VOL. 1 being released on DVD about a month or so before KILL BILL VOL. 2 was to hit theaters. My brother both watched it and made plans to get our asses to the theater to see how this all wrapped up. I remember the anticipation of waiting for the Friday that this was to be released, so we could see Bill finally get what was coming to him and see Tarantino's ingenuity at play. I also remember a co-worker of mine at the time, making the critique that "you can't give me that much blood in part one and nearly none at all in part two". You see, that's the thing though. I think it's best not to think of these movies as VOLUME ONE and VOLUME TWO, but rather one big, long film. That way the blood of VOLUME ONE and the story development of VOLUME TWO can coexist and make for one exciting affair when combined.

You know, on second thought, there's another thing I hate about this movie. The fact that Kiddo doesn't actually kill either Budd, nor Elle. Elle kills Budd and Kiddo leaves Elle in the trailer, still alive when we last see her. Sure, it's assumed that she gets bitten by the snake, but we never see it and after all that Kiddo's been through, it's hard to believe that she'd actually leave a survivor, even a blind one who's alone with a black mamba. Another thing that kind of gets me (and I don't know whether I love it or hate it) is the fact that the biggest fuck up of the whole group - Budd - is the one who actually comes the closest to killing The Bride. Oh, oh, oh and another thing! What's the deal with the big fight between The Bride and Bill only lasting a total of like twelve seconds? Really? I just sat through four hours of a movie called KILL freaking BILL and you're going to give me a ten second fight scene between these two, that should've lasted at least ten minutes!? Man, it sounds like I'm crapping all over this one, but I promise, it is a favorite! I just have a tendency to really pick on the movies that I like and ones where I know the opportunity for maximum potential existed. Those are just a few things that kind of piss me off about this one.


However, it's a Tarantino flick and I'll always have a soft spot for that man's movies. He's the man that got me interested in movies and one that I'll always show up for. He's one of the few guys going today who still brings that special something when it comes to modern cinema and allows the true cinephiles to realize why they fell in love with moving pictures in the first place. I've heard the term "pure cinema" used a lot, but have never bothered to look up it's text book meaning. I have a feeling KILL BILL qualifies though. It nails perfectly everything from score to acting, dialogue to storytelling, not to mention larger than life characters (can I just say I LOVE the Elle character - Hannah NAILED it!). It provides an engaging, exciting, riveting, suspenseful, nearly flawless trip to the movies and when watched in conjunction with VOLUME ONE, as a whole, the damn thing is impossible to exclude for any list and shame on THE BOOK for leaving this volume out of every one of their editions!

RATING: 8/10  I deducted a few points for the nitpicky stuff I mentioned, but an '8' is hard to come by recently, especially by my picky ass standards.

March 30, 2014  10:53pm

2 comments:

  1. Oh sorry Andrew...
    I didn't dislike this.. but (and I'm afraid this is probably worse), I was bored.
    In was mildly intrestrd to know what it was all about, but in the end, I really didn't care if she found Bill or killed him.. or even, by the end, why.
    Fight. Flashy sword play, clever flashback.. fight, sword play.. death.. lets have another fight..Ho hum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No need for apologies Ray. I'm sure it won't be the last time we disagree and that's okay. I am sorry you didn't like this more though. Did you ever comment on KILL BILL VOL. 1? I forget what you thought of it. I may have to go take a look.

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SINS OF OMISSION - Entry #65: Les nuits de la pleine lune/Full Moon in Paris (1984)

Running Time: 100 minutes Directed By: Eric Rohmer Written By: Eric Rohmer Main Cast: Pascale Ogier, Tcheky Karyo, Fabrice Luchini,...