Kill Bill: Vol. 2

The bride is back for the final cut.

Action Crime Thriller
136 min     7.879     2004     USA


The Bride unwaveringly continues on her roaring rampage of revenge against the band of assassins who had tried to kill her and her unborn child. She visits each of her former associates one-by-one, checking off the victims on her Death List Five until there's nothing left to do … but kill Bill.


Wuchak wrote:
Tarantino's amusing super-assassin bizarro world RELEASED IN 2004 and written/directed by Quentin Tarantino, "Kill Bill Vol. 2" completes the story of 2003's "Vol. 1" and fills in the holes. Former assassin, The Bride (Uma Thurmon), seeks vengeance after the murder of her fiancé & friends at a wedding rehearsal in El Paso. She takes on formidable thugs Budd (Michael Madsen) and Elle (Daryl Hannah) to finally get to ringleader Bill (David Carradine). Gordon Liu plays master martial artist Pai Mei while Michael Parks is on hand as Esteban Vihaio. This part of the duology is more dialogue-driven than "Vol. 1,” fleshing-out the characters and answering many questions. Such as: How is The Bride such an unconquerable fighter? How did Elle lose her right eye? Why did Bill conduct the wedding massacre? How does Budd spend his retirement? The problem is that the characters are all cartoony caricatures, and merciless assassins to boot. It's impossible to give criminal scum "more depth," at least as far as caring for them goes. Let 'em all kill each other for all I care. Moreover, the story is too shallow to warrant such epic treatment and would've been more effective if both films were condensed into a 2.5 hour flick, cutting out the fat. Still, the movie's so offbeat that it's entertaining in the manner of 1996's "Mojave Moon," but better. It's an interesting combo of spaghetti Westerns, 70's martial arts flicks, Bond-isms and all-around Tarantino quirkiness. But suggesting that the "Kill Bill" flicks are cinematic masterpieces of auteurism is overdoing it. Take, for instance, the ridiculous closing credits, which run well over 12 minutes: The plot and characters are unworthy of such pretentious veneration. If you want masterworks by Tarantino, see “Django Unchained” (2012) and “Pulp Fiction” (1994); or even “Inglourious Basterds” (2009) and “Jackie Brown” (1997). Still, the movie's strangely amusing, the cast is good (especially Carradine) and Bill's Superman analysis is insightful. The Bride’s training with Pai Mei is arguably the best bit. THE MOVIE RUNS 137 minutes and was shot in Southern California; Beijing, China; and Mexico. GRADE: B/B- (6.5/10)
CinemaSerf wrote:
This is so much better than volume one. The "Bride" (Uma Thurman) is continuing her quest to avenge herself on the killer of her fiancée and unborn child, but unlike with the first outing we do not face more endless ensemble fight scenes. This is much more focussed and individual. Her encounter with "Sidewinder" (Michael Madsen) tests her mettle - and her panic control in a frighteningly claustrophobic manner - before the eyepatch sporting Daryl Hannah ("Elle") offers probably her finest on-screen performance as together they manage to demolish a motor home using samurai swords and their body weight. We learn more about how she learned her ninja skills under the guise of the curmudgeonly swordsmith and master of all things cerebral "Hattori Hanzo" (Sonny Chiba) and all of this builds up to a quirky denouement with her nemesis - the eponymous "Bill" (David Carradine) who reminded me throughout of his days as "Grasshopper" in "Kung Fu". It flies along, this film, with bags of one-to-one action, humour, a decent soundtrack and some interesting historical and cultural undertones that help ground the film more effectively. In my view it is easily the best role Thurman has had to play, and this second outing gives her far more scope to shine as an actor. The writing isn't great - especially towards the end, but that doesn't matter as the escapades, action and strong characters more than compensate for that. My favourite Tarantino film - easily.