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The Past | The Previous

Kill Bill, Volume 2.

i remember when, on a Tuesday, tickets were half price. i was only a kid at the time, but still, i remember it. years of working as a projectionist taught me that many other people remember it too, but that the truth of half price Tuesday was a rare and desperate act done by cinema owners to combat the video boom, and that as soon as they realised that people would still come to the cinema, and that their cash would keep arriving, they could jack up the price and do whatever insanity they wanted, and people would suck it back because once inside the cinema foyer, they understand that they have entered a different world, and that world is all about how much money it can rip from your hands before you die.

which pretty much describes kill bill, volume 2.

kill bill did not need to be split into two films. in a world where we're happy to sit through lord of the rings and titanic and whatever else three and a bit hour marathon, kill bill is not an anomaly. moreso, the film is clearly not designed to be viewed as two separate things: it is one film, with a specific build up to the death of bill, and a quickening of the fight scenes to this last, brutally efficient moment. i imagine, that after the amazing free for all with lucy liu and her gang, that the speed in which uma thurman cuts her way through the remaining cast would only add to the exhilarating pace of the film.

but i can only imagine. as a film by itself, kill bill, volume 2, is an anti-climax and clunky. the worse moment of the last is when bill talks about the five star palm attack of death, or whatever it is, in a backflash to uma. if you can't figure out how bill is going to die from that one scene, then you need to be kicked back to life, because obviously you've fallen into a coma. but there is more: darryl hannah's character loses her narrative flow. why should i care that she wants to fight uma so much? there is no build up to that in the second film--it exists in the first. and the continual conversations about uma's sword have, too, lost their importance, because the scenes with sonny chiba crafting it belong to the first film, and thus the impact of his gift is lost. indeed, those two examples are indicative of the whole film as a whole: why should i care, where's the narrative build? about the only thing i felt building in me was the sure realisation that i'd been shafted by the movie industry once again, taken for a second ten bucks, and now having paid twice as much as i would for one film.

yet, beyond the clunky bits and lost of narrative build up, kill bill, volume 2 is still an entertaining film. it is well made, well put together outside the fact that it is two films, and has an excellent moment with michael masden and a midget and the following scenes. indeed, both masden and david carradine actually manage to pass themselves off as brothers, which is a little bit surprising when you stop and think about it, and actually makes me think that the two of them have not lost the acting skills that they displayed, once upon a time, as it were.

but still, in the end, i feel ripped off. the world of cinema, under the dictatorship rule of men and women with too much money, have conned me into paying twice for one film. shit, i might as well have bought the popcorn and drink and just called it a 'getting screwed over by the movie industry' date, because in the end, it sure as fuck felt like that was what had happened.

Comments

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rubybluenote
May. 6th, 2004 12:17 am (UTC)
The film made me angry, and it was more than just having to pay double for something that was pretty empty as a single movie (I agree with you about I & II being the same film). Sure, I enjoyed some of the action, the soundtrack was typically Tarantino-interesting, and one or two of the actors were ok.

But I want to know what's so new and fresh about the whole idea that has so many of my friends raving about it - we've definitely seen all these ingredients before. I'd like to know why the hell they let the third act of vol 2 flatline like they did. I want to know why that climax was filmed as such a boring anticlimax. I want to know how the heck the 'Superman' speech furthered the plot -- I have no idea, I went to sleep during that sequence... and I want to know whywhywhy so many people loved it. I guess you could say that I didn't really 'get it' at all :-)

I feel quite heartened that there's someone intelligent out there who didn't 100% love everything about it.
benpeek
May. 7th, 2004 12:07 am (UTC)
i got the superman speech. i didn't think it was necessary--i didn't think anything with bill was necessary, really, and i thought he might be a little more angry over the death of his brother and all, but he seemed quite willing to die, into his fate, almost, and i thought that that could have been explored in the scenes with him.

but, no, i don't think the film is that fresh, but it's certainly got a fresh breath in it, and that's just from tarantino. you can see that he loves it, and that comes across in the whole film. and you know, for the first film, i really connected with that, despite what i thought were structurally problems. (too much time spent on lucy lui's character, for example.)

but cutting it in half was just unnecessary.
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