This week's strip is not about Kill Bill Vol. 2, but we decided that the movie was important enough to make it the focus of our main article. So without further adeu, let us discuss Tarantino's fifth film. Nothing will be spoiled here, I promise.
Da Vinci, Beethoven, Picasso, Tarantino? Okay well perhaps Quentin Tarantino isn't quite the profound creative genius of our time, but he certainly knows his way around a good movie. To say the least, I very much enjoyed Kill Bill Vol. 2 and found it to be an absolutely wonderful conclusion to the Kill Bill saga.
My attempts to compare Volume 2 with Volume 1 have revealed that the movies are each great for entirely different reasons. While it seems that Volume 1 achieved its amazing status through its uncommon techniques (the anime scene, the black and white color fight), its large scale fight choreography, and its simply stunning swordplay action, Volume 2 spent more time on character development, had more in-depth dialogue, and directed more of its attention to the audience's funny bone. Of course, those are my generalizations and aren't meant to be hold-fast rules. We really got a much more well-rounded view of the movie's central characters after the first movie left us with minimal knowledge about The Bride and virtually nothing about Bill or any of the assassins that were left alive. I won't go into any details, but I'm pretty sure that any of your questions left dangling by Volume 1 should be answered by the end of Volume 2. One aspect of Tarantino's movies that I really like are that his characters are never flat. He even manages to add personality and roundness to characters that only appear on screen for a matter of minutes. In terms of character dialogue, there were moments that illustrated Tarantino's keen knack for it. Anyone that's seen Pulp Fiction probably remembers it for its fascinating dialogue as much as for its piece-wise storyline and its violence. Though not as prominent as in Pulp Fiction, Tarantino inserted some of these uniquely clever dialogue bits that I am now certain only he can pull off. Volume 2 is clearly intended to be a much funnier film than Volume 1, especially with its tongue-and-cheek play on old Kung Fu movies with the character Pai Mei. I think you'll laugh as much as you cringe, and that usually isn't the case with Tarantino films. And there was certainly no shortage of that vengeance-driven action that we all expected to see. Words don't do justice to action scenes, so I'm going to just sum them up as: awesome.
Another one of the things I really like about the movie is its resilience to anything that strikes a familiar chord with the current bland Hollywood movie models and themes. I found it refreshing, to say the least, to not have to sit through some formulaic element that was thrown in just to balance the movie-model equation. I mean, how often nowadays do we see a love relationship in a movie and think to ourselves, "Gee, is this here because it really helps the plot or because they felt that all good movies need a love story?". I think the latter case is somewhat frequent, and usually it bugs me to no end. Of course the film had nothing like that, and no one should have expected it to, but it's still a positive aspect of the movie that I want to comment on.
Overall I feel that Tarantino really did a spectacular job wrapping up the Kill Bill saga. I'm probably going to have to see it at least once more in order to appreciate it more fully, but I think that Kill Bill on the whole will be remembered as a very entertaining, but also very quirky, great work.