Sunday, October 17, 2010
Kill Bill 2
The second part lives up to the promise of the first, even outdoing it in terms of it's magnetic hold. It doesn't take off exactly where the first one left, but fashions new fragments so that the two fit together into a coherent whole. It deserves to be called a sequel rather than merely part two, since it followed a year later and Tarantino must have had time to let his creative energy ferment and to take inspiration from the huge success of part 1.
We are taken through a series of absurd situations, and served with a dish which melds humor with melancholy violence in unflagging innovation. The dialog lines are delivered in a mock-serious literary monotone which makes clear that something or somebody is being imitated--it could be the queen herself, so naturally do the lines and situations flow. We are in fact driving through a universe of stereotypes, more enjoyable since we know that a mirror of parody and ridicule is being held forth. The Bride undergoes hilarious training in kung-fu under a Chinese guru; a poisonous snake is hidden in a suitcase containing a pay-off of a million dollars in return for a sword crafted by a legendary craftsman now turned restaurateur; Thurman is buried alive; the only eye of a one-eyed woman warrior is clawed out and trampled underfoot; truth-serum is injected by means of a pistol fired dart, and arch enemies turn into drooling parents. The ground rule is: anything can happen anytime. Even murder is delivered with a smile and full force of logic.
A dish of lavish entertainment, delivered effortlessly without the trace of a smile. Uma Thurman lives up to the goddess status conferred on her by Tarantino.
NY Times review