I watched Ebert & Roper’s review of part 2 of Tarantino’s latest creation with great hope. Both loved the movie, going so far as to say that after seeing volume 2 they liked volume 1 even more.
The film opened with a blissfully short recap of the events in volume one. While I am normally against such moron-heavy devices in movies I accept the need for them and just let it pass. Looking back at the entire experience now I wish that recap had lasted longer. Much, much longer. Going back over the celluloidic gold that was KBv1 was the best part of the “sequel”.
Volume 2 lacked the style that made V1 an instant classic. Gone are the scenes of ultra-violence so extreme that they evolve into caricatures of themselves. They were replaced by droning dialog that dragged the viewer along and added nothing to the overall story. What little combat there was seemed abbreviated and lacked the raw emotion that made first movies scenes even more potent.
The best/worst example of this absurd abbreviation is the plot points and scenes related to Pai Mai, the Kung-Fu master who trained Uma Thurman’s character. Throughout the movie, and I believe even at brief times in the last one, Pai Mai’s teachings are referenced along with a bond shared between master and student. One would think that the perfect opportunity to expose this bond would be during the chapter titled “The Cruel Tutelage of Pai Mai”. One would be wrong. The all too short scenes with the master serve only show how Uma would escape the coffin Budd had buried her in. That’s the kind of slack-jawed plotting I expect from a Karate Kid movie, not a Tarantino joint.
This review isn’t going to get any better so I?m just going to stop right here and call it an afternoon.
Kill Bill v1 was a hurricane, a tsunami, a deluge of such power that were you to be swept under by it your family would die. Volume 2? No so much.
Someday I hope Quentin revisits this project with a critical eye and re-cuts the entire thing into the singular movie experience it was meant to be. A five hour flic is a small price to pay when creating a masterpiece.