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Kill Bill Vol. 2

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

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One of Tarantino's Finest Films and a Stunning Conclusion to What Volume 1 Began

  • Jul 11, 2009
Rating:
+5
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 our two central protagonist.  Bill (David Carradine) and the Bride (Uma Thurman).  Yet while Volume 1 was one hell of a ride in its own right, Volume 2 is far more subtle in its approach.  If you LOVED Volume 1... you might not like the more subtle approach and focus on backstory and dialog.  In short, there's not a lot of "action" that you got from the first film.  Just the same, if you hated the first film there's no guarantee you'll hate the second.  Despite being the second part in a two part film... Volume 2 is very very different from Volume 1.  In several ways.

We can best say that Kill Bill Volume 2 is more down to earth.  There's not nearly as much blood spraying everywhere, not nearly as many people die and you're not getting as much kung-fu action.  If anything, Kill Bill Volume 2 can best be described as a character study and... a love story.  Yes, Quentin Tarantino has given you a love story.  But this is a Quentin Tarantino love story.  There's no sappy stuff here, but you do see just how the bond between Bill and the Bride was begun, why Bill was so furious to shoot her and just what became of The Daughter that Bill spoke of at the end of the first film. 

The movie opens with the same sadistic shooting that occured in the first film, but now we get to see how this came to be.  We get to see The Bride at her rehearsal and in the process of all this, we get to see as Bill comes to see what has become of her.  After what appears to be a nice exchange, Bill eventually sends his assassins in to massacre the people there.  But why, exactly, did he do this?  The movie dives into this.  This portion of the film is a flashback. 

On another front, we see the Bride quickly going after the last two assassins before Bill.  Budd and Elle.  Bill tries to warn Budd that she is coming to kill him, but Budd doesn't seem too concerned that she is.  "That girl deserves her revenge.  And we all deserve to die," he proclaims.  Yet when The Bride finds him he shows he won't simply yield.  He manages to shoot her with rock salt and bury her alive.  Thus, the film also marches into its third front, and another flashback.  The Bride's training.  In order to be part of Bill's gang there's rigorous training.  Bill wasn't The Bride's only mentor.  So was a man named Pai Mei.  And through his teachings, she escapes her confinement. 

Luckily for her, there's not much to do when it comes to Budd and Elle.  When Elle realizes that Budd has The Bride she quickly comes to the scene... and in an unpredictable act that isn't quite equivalent to the infamous "ear" scene in Reservoir Dogs, Budd is betrayed and killed.  Yet The Bride can still take on Elle, and she does, leaving her humiliated and then proceedig to Bill himself.

One of the things which Kill Bill Vol. 2 focuses A LOT on is story, narrative and character development.  It's a total 180 from what you got with the first film.  So much so it can feel like watching a completely different film.  We didn't even see Bill in the first one, but here he's front in center.  We learn about nearly everything which happens between Bill and The Bride... and how The Bride ultimately left and Bill's anger at thinking she must've been killed... and surprised to find out that she's alive.  And not only alive... but pregnant.

The movie hits high when The Bride finally comes across her daughter.  Tarantino, for all intensive purposes, is usually very good with surprises, and this was definitely no different.  In fact, it's such a strong turning point that we too are left to wonder what The Bride will do.  Will she ultimately get her revenge?  Or will her daughter suddenly change everything?

Make no mistake, there's a lot of narration and dialog throughout the film.  Between the flashbacks and the lack of action it can make it pretty hard for those who fell in love with the first film to follow.  Yet it may be because of this focus that many have considered Kill Bill Vol. 2 to be superior.  It's entirely unlike the first film.  We come to see Bill as a person.  He's actually somewhat charming and likable.  We can see why The Bride likes him.  And this is mostly because Quentin Tarantino is good at casting.  David Carradine is easily the number one reason to watch Kill Bill Volume 2.  He does a tremendous job.  You also get a bit more dialog here.  One of the best moments in the film is when Bill delievers his "Superman" speech to The Bride in an effort to tell her that she's a killer... no more and no less.

The movie is so subtle (and yet stylistic) in its approach that it really can be a letdown if the intense action was what you loved about the first film.  The final confrontation between Bill and The Bride is the perfect example of this.  Where as the fight between The Bride and O Ren was amazing, you won't find that here.  To make a very stylistic fight at the end of Kill Bill Vol. 2 would look out of place in the film in and of itself... and also wouldn't bode well thematically.  Despite being linked to the first one, Tarantino makes it very clear you're watching two very different films done in two very different styles.  The first was an homage to Asian cinema.  This one seems more like a western at times.  It's the complete opposite of the first film in almost every way.  It's another reason why those who hated the first film might not exactly hate the second.  And it's another reason why those who loved the first film might not love the second.

At heart, Quentin Tarantino is still a storyteller.  And if story is what you're looking for then Kill Bill Vol. 2 will probably please you much more than the first film.  The strong performances of Uma Thurman and David Carradine alone are enough to make it worth watching.  But mostly it's just an interesting story that's been woven by Tarantino.

Most people who love the first film seem to be taken aback by the second; perhaps because it's so different from what they got from the first.  If action is what you were expecting from the second film then perhaps it's understandable.  In terms of story telling and narration, Kill Bill Volume 2 is a masterpiece.  That won't make those who wanted more action love it more, but it is to say that the second film wasn't meant to be the action packed fun the first film showcased in the first place. 

In the end, Kill Bill Volume 2 is as surprising as it is entertaining to watch.  The last few minutes especially are incredibly fun.  From Uma Thurman's portrayal of The Bride to David Carradine's fantastic performance as Bill (which the Academy shamefully overlooked).  It might not be as much "fun" as the first film, but there is something more that the audience can take from it.

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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 . December 23, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Kill Bill Vol. 2 DVD
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 …
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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Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #6
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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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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