|Kurt's Movie Corner (Punish Bill)
||[Apr. 19th, 2004|01:24 am]
|||||Angry Boy-Cree Summer-Street Faërie||]|
I had quite the kick-ass weekend. Both Kill Bill Vol. 2 and The Punisher came out this weekend, and I got to see both of them. Saturday was KBV2 with technomonkey, and Sunday (today) I saw The Punisher with shironiku. I don't want to compare them, because they are incredibly different movies, but seeing them in such close proximity, I may end up doing some minor contrasts here and there. These reviews should be spoiler-free, but just in case, here's a
Kill Bill Vol. 2: I haven't seen Vol. 1 since it came out in theaters, but I figure it pretty much picks up right where the first one left off. But, Vol. 2 is a very different movie from KBV1. As Peter David points out in his own commentary on the movie, this is a much more relationship driven film than the first one is. Not that there aren't some great action sequences (because there are...), but they aren't the focus of the film. They're there, but not in the same frequency or freneticism of the first film. No blood spurts a mile high this time. While the first movie was more fun, this movie is more satisfying. We get to know The Bride as a character this time, instead of just a force of nature (which, thinking about it now, is probably why they reveal her name in this installment). And the resolution of the story is one that leaves you feeling good about the journey you've taken.
I'm interested to see what Quentin will do with Vol. 3, but that can wait...
The Punisher: technomonkey will be somewhat annoyed with this movie, since it's an origin. But, since not everyone is a comic-book geek like myself, the setup of what makes Frank become The Punisher is an important part of the story. The only thing I don't like about the way the origin was done was that it tied the villain into the origin of the hero. I can see why they did that, but it takes away a) the randomness of the event of his family's death and b) his motivation for continuing to be The Punisher after this villain is "punished." Once we get past that, however, this is everything you could expect from a Punisher movie. Lots and lots of violence, delivered in interesting and creative ways, with just the right touch of morbid humor. The writer and director obviously took inspiration from Garth Ennis's take on the character (including bringing in supporting characters that Garth created for his first year on the book), which is a good thing, since that's the only version of the character that I've enjoyed reading on a regular basis. It's not quite as cartoony as some of Garth's stuff was (especially the fight with The Russian), but since it's a live-action movie (emphasis on the action), that wouldn't have been appropriate. But, given the constraints of the medium, it's as close as they could get and still have it work.
Long story short, both of these movies are on my "Highly Recommended" list, as long as you don't mind violence.