Went with Tammy, our first Just Friends date. It was opening night, and the theatre was nearly full. Maybe a coupla dozen seats left down front. They had it running on three screens.
This is almost isn't a sequel. It's really hard to tell it was filmed at the same time. There's very, very little blood and gore in it. Well, there is a little bit of gore. But none of the gushing-blood samurai sword fights of the first movie.
As one might expect, this movie has some substantial flashbacks, to fill in the backstory. The movie basically starts out with a black & white flashback to the wedding. There, we meet Bill, played by Keith Caradine. The Kung Fu guy.
For me, it was kind of fun seeing him in a character steeped in martial arts. And yet, he was contemporary. So, kind of like in a Zelazny story, he'd start a bit of dialogue with a bit of a solemn tone and a lot of references to tradition. And then he'd finish it with something in a completely different tone, like, "You're going to love carrying buckets of water up all those steps." It worked as a bit of comic relief.
The other big flashback was her being trained by the old master.
Where the first movie was basically an anime with real people, this one had a bit more of the feel of what I would expect from a B martial arts film. Well, portions of it Tarantino played it up really strong. Stuff like, one character would finish a line of dialogue and just a little too late the cameraman would zoom in suddenly. And the master had an affectation where he'd give his beard a quick stroke, to accentuate a point. And portions of the fight scenes are about what I'd expect from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (which I haven't seen as of this writing, but should in the next week or so.)
One thing I liked about both movies is that the hero isn't (quite) invincible. She actually gets taken out a coupla times. But through the complacency of her enemies, she manages to come back. Though, her transformation from cold-hearted killer to over-protective mother seemed to be a bit abrupt.
There was plenty of humor throughout the movie. The pregnancy test. Several bits in the fights. Especially the fight in the trailer, which they capped off with something similar to Indiana Jones shooting the Arab swordsman. Something you just didn't expect, even though you probably should have.
On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Matinee. I liked the first one better, but this one was good, too. Recognizably related to the first movie. But it had many different style elements.
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