It was pretty good. It had some lovely moments--the old Chinese master and the training bit was absolute delight. Kicked ass. And Bill kicked ass, and only Quentin Tarantino would get two women with guns in a Mexican standoff while one attempts to read the information on a home pregnancy test.
The fight scenes just weren't up to the first one. I mean, that epic battle with the Crazy 88, and then that gorgeous swordfight at the end with O-ren--those were just elegant. Painfully, gorgeously elegant. It just didn't get any better than that.
And there weren't any of those in the second one. There were some not-half-bad sword fight scenes, and a few good action sequences, but they generally lasted fifteen seconds and half of them took place in a white-trashed trailor. It was a fine movie, fine plot, and it had a lot going for it, but...
Well, I guess what I'm saying is that it wasn't violent enough, damnit.
Yes, I know, that sounds weird even to me. What kind of freak am I, that a Quentin Tarrantino movie wasn't violent enough?
And sure, it was violent. Somebody squished an eyeball between their toes, for christ's sake. But there just wasn't the sheer...epicness...of violence that I expect from a kung-fu movie, particularly after that first one. Every time we saw a new location, I mentally primed myself to see it awash with blood and crumpled twitching bodies, and then it didn't happen. It was, on the whole, a much tamer flick than the first one. Nobody leapt onto a table and decapitated someone for insulting their parentage. Blood pressure was not set to "fire-hose." By the time, most of the way through the movie, that the bit with the eyeball came around, I wasn't desensitized to it, and by a quarter of the way through the first one, they could have run a herd of zombies through a mincer and I wouldn't have noticed.
This is not making my case as a non-freak terribly well, I grant you, but nevertheless. The violence was violent, but not epic. The fight scenes were good, but not un-freaking-believable. They weren't these artfully constructed masterpieces, they were just two people beating the shit out of each other, and for the amount of time everybody talked about swords, there was precious little actual swordplay. I walked out going "Not bad," rather than "YEAH! WOO! HAH! DAMN!"
It was a good movie, mind you. I enjoyed it. But I liked the first one better.
That "Hero" movie, on the other hand...yeah. The trailer...the colors! The colors!