Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Bloody Satisfaction

It’s finally here, and I’ve finally seen it.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 was like a hypodermic of adrenaline slammed straight into my breastplate, which left me stumbling out of the cinema with my eyeballs bleeding, my ears roaring with static and the word “Wow” on a continuous loop dribbling out the corner of my mouth.

Vol. 2 is something quite different. It’s more of a slow-burner, as befits QT’s latest pop culture cocktail of reference points, but just as good in its own way. Where Vol. 1 was a mess of Japanese influences, from anime and the pop yakuza stylings of Seijun Suzuki to the extreme cartoon gore of Takashi Miike and the raw brutality of Kinji Fukasaku, Vol. 2 is more preoccupied with the damaged romanticism of Sergio Leone, the burnt-out hardasses of Don Siegel and the wobbly zoom shots of the Shaw Brothers.

David Carradine is disturbingly sympathetic as Bill, and Daryl Hannah almost steals the entire movie as instant icon Elle Driver. Then there’s Gordon Liu as Pai Mei, Michael Parks as Esteban Vihaio (topping his return as From Dusk Till Dawn’s Earl McGraw in Vol. 1) and even a glorious little cameo from B-movie legend Bo Svenson.

Pure, visceral cinema with the dial set to eleven, and I can’t get it out of my head. I don’t want to, either.

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