It was a weekend of revenge at the movies.
First up, Kill Bill Vol. 2. Volume 1 was a spectacle of kung-fu and splatter style gore. Arms and heads removed with ten foot arcs of blood. The body count was high. The story was interesting, uncomplicated, and above all else, action packed.
In Volume 2, the death count drops, in fact, unless I’m mistaken, only 4 people die in it. This volume spends more time focusing on the back story of Black Mamba (Uma Thurman), and how she became the woman she was. As I overheard someone say, "Quentin saved all the talking for this one." And they were right… the story here is thicker, sometimes slow, but still cool enough to keep me watching the screen and not my watch.
The two movies really are an excellent pair, and one day when they make the special collector’s edition DVD with an hour or so of extra footage, it will find its way into my collection for sure.
In another tale of revenge, The Punisher brings to the screen the Marvel Comics character of the same name. And while they changed many of the details of his original (Vietnam Vet just doesn’t fly as easily anymore if you want to set the story in current day), the changes made didn’t detract from the character. Frank Castle is a man whose family is killed by criminals, and he decides that with the life he still has he will stop as many of them as he can.
Its not revenge, its punishment.
While I did find some of the earlier scenes of the movie, mainly those setting up for the death of Frank’s family, to be "laying it on a bit thick," once the action started, it was mezmerizing. The fight scenes, both hand to hand and gun battles, were well done, with the right touch of violence without being overly vicious (some on screen stab wounds were paticularly unsettling, but most finishing shots on wounded victims were done off screen).
As long as Marvel keeps putting out quality films like this for its properties, they can continue to count on my hard earned movie dollar.