This post may make some of you question my film taste if not my sanity.
Quentin Tarantino has had a dream career. Starting off as a video store clerk he made the wildly successful indie film 'Resevoir Dogs' followed by the mega hit 'Pulp Fiction'. Those two films changed cinema in the early to mid 90s as Hollywood produced a slew of small budget crime films. Already established actors, such as John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Harvey Keitel, saw a much needed career boost and became household names again, if not for the first time. Quentin established himself as an elite director who seemed to do no wrong in his fans eyes.
Then came 'Jackie Brown'. It opened as a disappointment to most, but some Tarantino apologists went to great lengths to praise the film's very few strong points.
After a long abscense, Tarantino brought us Kill Bill Vol 1, which was a great tribute to the films that inspire him. Mixing doses of Hong Kong cinema, spaghetti westerns, 70s music, and many other sources, the film was a welcome addition to his body of work. Audiences loved the fast paced action, witty dialogue, and stylized photography. It's a simple revenge story with nothing really deep going on, but I kinda enjoyed it. It wasn't great, but it was a fun, unpretentious romp.
Kill Bill Vol 2 came out a year later to much hoopla. Critics were praising it right and left calling it one of the best films of the year. Most of them were claiming it was better than Vol 1. Geek movie sites, such as Ain't it Cool News, gave it such rousing kudos that you'd think Harry Knowles lost his mind. Most of those sites will apologize for any film bandwagon though.
I found Kill Bill Vol 2 the most overrated film of recent years. The movie, unlike it's prequel, has a ridiculous slow pace. The dialogue is pretty dull with the exception of the now famous Superman speech. What made the movie a downer for me is that they gave away the ending in it's first hour and I had to wade through often boring dialogue for it to come to a close. The training sequence is the only reason to watch the film as the ending lacked any sort of suspense or urgency. I know a lot of people would disagree, but I don't get how they sat in the theatre and truly felt they had no idea what was going to happen. My buddy Joe actually woke me up in theatre.
The film does have it's merits, such as a great action sequence, an amusing soundtrack, and decent acting. While Kill Bill Vol 1 mostly used elements of Hong Kong cinema it's sequel decided to borrow mostly from spaghetti westerns, a genre I'm mostly unfamiliar with nor do I even care for.
The movies were intended to be shown together as one long picture. I have to agree with Miramax to cut the films in two as I could never sit through them back to back. Given the fun and excitement the first one delivered, Vol 2 was a real let down.
Kill Bill trailer:
"For those seeking the vibrant innovation of Tarantino's first movies or the sheer rush of Kill Bill, Vol. 1, Vol. 2 feels like a dulled blade." - Mark Caro