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Kill Bill Vol. 2

The second half of Quentin Tarantino's epic female revenge saga.

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Kill Bill Vol. 2: The Bride's Redemption

  • Dec 23, 2008
WARNING: This review contains spoilers!

Note: Before reading this review for Kill Bill Vol. 2, please read my review for Kill Bill Vol. 1 to avoid confusion.

Quentin Tarantino (Jackie Brown and Kill Bill Vol. 1) delivers the second half of his epic revenge melodrama, Kill Bill, with his usual stylistic flare. As with Vol. 1, he gives tribute to the many genres that have inspired him since his childhood. Unlike Kill Bill Vol. 1, Vol. 2 focuses more on human drama rather than gory action but it still packs a punch. The story is more typical of Tarantino's writing, relying heavily on witty banter between immoral characters who suffer the delusion that they are following some strict code of honor. Another difference between Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 is the tone of the film. Vol. 1 is very much an amalgamation of samurai, blaxploitation, and revenge melodrama. Vol. 2 is more of a spaghetti western / kung fu / dysfunctional family drama.
Kill Bill Vol. 2

Kill Bill Vol. 2 continues The Bride's quest for revenge against her former boss/lover, Bill, who four years earlier massacred her husband-to-be and her friends during her wedding rehearsal. But Bill has a secret: the daughter that The Bride was pregnant with, whom she believed to have been killed, is alive and happily living with her father, Bill. And for the first we are shown how The Bride became the killer that she is. We see her cruel tutelage under kung fu master Pai Mei, who takes her past the breaking point and keeps pushing her to excel. We see the day that she realized she was pregnant and decided to leave killing behind her. And we see the day that the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DiVAS) killed her friends before putting her in a coma. With all of these events in mind, The Bride continues down the blood-soaked path to vengeance. #3 on her "Death List" is Bill's younger brother, Budd, who has no intention of becoming just another splatter mark leading to Bill. When The Bride shows up, Budd is waiting with a shotgun and a shovel. He shoots her in the chest and then buries her alive in the desert. Budd plans on selling The Bride's Hattori Hanzo sword to Elle Driver, #4 on The Bride's "Death List" and one of the top members of the Deadly Vipers, but Elle is lethally cunning and she despises Budd for killing The Bride before she had the chance to do it herself. Little does she know that The Bride has escaped from her premature burial site and is on her way to kill Budd (who is already dead thanks to Elle). When The Bride arrives, she and Elle duke it out in an intimately savage fight which ends in an unexpectedly abrupt manner. Without stopping for respite or recovery, The Bride Travels to Acuna Mexico where she looks up an old retired pimp, Esteban Vihaio, who served as a father figure to Bill. It is from Esteban that she finally learns the location of Bill himself. The Bride hits the road once again and it's not long before she reaches her destination where Bill is waiting with their daughter, B.B.. Bill and The Bride hide their vendetta from their daughter but after she's safely tucked into bed they confront one another. After a long discussion about the nature of heroes and dual identities, about leading a double life of mediocrity and intrigue, they fight briefly. In the end Bill is, of course, dead but so is The Bride. She lives on in a new incarnation, not as The Bride, a killer, but as Mommy. Mommy and B.B. drive off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

There have been some critics who have been disappointed with the film's climactic showdown between The Bride and Bill. Most of them complained that either Bill's death was too simple and dignified or that the final duel should have been more of a spectacle like the final battle in the first film. However, upon close examination the ending is entirely appropriate, both emotionally and pragmatically. All this time The Bride has been a stoic and impersonal killer and only when she was with Bill or when she was pregnant was she intimate and human. This duality was necessary in her violent line of work, but when she kills Bill she is released from this shifting imbalance and made whole. Only when he is dead can she become human again and act as a mother to her daughter. It is this removal of evil from the world that gives her the strength to survive and redeem herself. She's no longer The Bride, she's simply Mommy; a woman freed from the cruelties of men, a mother who does not attack but to defend her offspring. It's odd but the film which started off as a tribute to genre films and exploitation is in the end an ironic allegory for feminism and non-violence.

The cast (as always is the case in Tarantino's films) is wonderful especially Uma Thurman as The Bride/Mommy, Michael Madsen as Budd, Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver, David Carradine as Bill, and Gordon Liu as Pai Mei.

The DVD special features include "The Making of Kill Bill Vol. 2", a performance by Robert Rodriguez' band Chingon, and a deleted scene.

She Is Gonna Kill Bill
Kill Bill Vol. 2 DVD

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July 10, 2010
YES, this is a classic for sure as is the first vol. QT is an amazing filmmaker.
July 10, 2010
I loved this film, both parts, and I still think that it may be one of the most underrated films of the last decade. Dark, hilarious, and full of action.
October 02, 2009
Great review! Found this you might be interested in!
September 13, 2009
another great review. I have to join you on these data points....
September 17, 2009
Heck, yeah. I'm stunned that you haven't brought over your original "Kill Bill" reviews.
December 31, 2008
You know I liked this movie more than the first! The violence was amazing, and truly funny!
March 25, 2009
The final fight between The Bride and Elle was hilarious. I especially love that nasty shot of The Bride crushing Elle's remaining eye with her foot. Grody!
More Kill Bill Vol. 2 reviews
review by . July 22, 2010
The Bride (Uma Thurman) continues wiping out the hit squad that left her for dead in the first film.  This one includes the ruthless Elie Driver (a one-eyed Daryll Hannah), who helps the Bride eliminate one of her targets.  This movie moved along a lot slower than the first with the big battle occurring between the Bride and Driver.  We see how the Bride received her training and how her master was murdered.       David Carridine plays Bill and when the two …
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Being the second half of what was originally one movie, the quality of vol 2 is just as good if not better than vol 1. As with any story, vol 1 was all about character development and sort of linear in that way. By the time we get to vol 2, we are ready to absorb a gripping story involving those characters.
Quick Tip by . July 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The second part of Tarantino's two part revenge saga gets Tarantino's story telling and dialogue that was missing from it's first part. Lengthy as hell at times but worth it.
Quick Tip by . July 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The movie had a little to much background storie but I loved the movies any way so I have mad props for the makers of this and hope to see more of the movies like this one.
Quick Tip by . June 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Great action film. I typically do not like action movies but this one is captivating. Love when she's being buried alive.
review by . July 11, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Kill Bill Volume 1 wasn't a movie for everyone.  It had a lot of action.  In the midst of that action there wasn't much story... but it was there.  Tarantino just needed to find a way to balance the action and the drama.  Thus, you have a movie split in two.  Kill Bill Volume 1 was a prelude to the Bride's revenge and sort of explaining why she was on a rampage.  Volume 2 sets out not only to conclude what was begun in the first film, but to also give background on …
review by . May 01, 2009
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 is the second half of a three hour plus movie that was directed by Quentin Tarantino (the action scenes were directed by Yuen Woo-Ping). Since nobody wanted to watch a nearly four hour grind house movie, the producers decided to split the movie in half and put all the left over footage in part two. In doing so the movie feels very bloated and the film tends to drag in many places.    The Bride is nearing the end of her long road to vengeance. With only the last …
review by . August 12, 2004
Pros: Script, Action, direction, acting is top notch.     Cons: Slow and plodding at times.     The Bottom Line: Final analysis: Tarantino crafted a set of films that herald his genius as a film make, a master of the detail, a student of the macabre, and a stupendous storyteller.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. Quentin Tarantino is back. Back in the director's seat where he most assuredly belongs, …
review by . April 15, 2004
Pros: Carradine and some good lines.     Cons: Drags, not alot of action.     The Bottom Line: For fans of the first volume only.     Revenge is the hot topic of this weekends releases as like “The Punisher” “Kill Bill Vol. 2” centers around the lead characters quest to seek revenge against those that have wronged them.       In Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill: Volume 1”, audiences were introduced …
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About this movie


The second and final volume in Quentin Tarantino's KILL BILL series is another stylish, sprawling masterwork. VOLUME 2 picks up where the first film left off, as The Bride (Uma Thurman) resumes her quest to track down her former mentor, Bill (David Carradine), and exact revenge. But before she gets to Bill, she must first take out the remaining minions who helped to slaughter her best friends and fianci. First up is Budd (Michael Madsen), a quiet but dangerous country boy who lives in a trailer. Next is Elle Driver (Darryl Hannah), a one-eyed vixen who doesn't appear to have a heart--or a conscience. As The Bride makes her way closer to Bill, scenes from her past are revisited, including her training with the angry and brutal Pai Mei (Gordon Liu). Finally, The Bride locates her man, sparking a truly unforgettable confrontation.

In contrast to the nearly dialogue-free first volume, VOLUME 2 is filled with extended conversations that bring the story full circle. Thurman is once again riveting a...
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