137 Min. | Action – Crime – Thriller | April 2004
IMDB Rating: 8.0
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Staring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 Review: Quentin Tarantino channels the manic, ultraviolent, stylized energy of cheesy kung-fu cinema, American westerns, and a slight twist of Italian horror, and he uses it all like threads to weave one of the greatest revenge stories ever made. Both Kill Bill movies collectively form a coherent, cohesive, sublime storytelling package, ideally, they should be watched back-to-back to understand every nuance of the story and the characters, since there is so much depth to them. Volume 2 of this saga fills in the gaps that its predecessor left behind, not only in following up on the rest of the Bride’s rampage, but also in revealing her full back story. But while Volume 1 had tons of rip-roaring action and an extremely vivid style, this follow-up is much more toned-down and mellow, laden with more dialogue than swordplay.
That being said, Kill Bill Vol. 2 still has a lot of brilliant moments that are worth seeing, including the burial scene, the fight between the Bride and Elle Driver, the brutal training scenes with Pai Mei, and the last half-hour or so, which builds up to a beautiful bittersweet ending. For the most part, it’s the story that counts, and it excels at taking characters we already know and love, and taking them to the next level. The full reasons for both sides of the conflict are finally revealed, generating empathy for both Bill and the Bride. Any other movie would be content in leaving things as a plain, straightforward black-and-white affair, but in this case, there’s much more insight to the characters and the overall plot. It all builds up to the inevitable climax, which pulls out one of the most heart-wrenching twists imaginable. Through it all, Kill Bill Vol. 2 provides the most satisfying ending possible, and it makes the entire Kill Bill saga one of the most endearing and complete storytelling experiences made.
Kill Bill Vol. 2 is crafted with superb photography and plenty of flashy editing. A few title cards, flashbacks, and asides are thrown into the mix for a stylized effect. Acting continues to impress, Uma Thurman is effectively perfect in her role, and it’s especially notable how physically demanding her role must have been. David Carradine exhibits an interesting presence as Bill, while Michael Madsen and Daryl Hannah excel at being villains we love to hate. Writing is very sharp and interesting. This production boasts some good-looking sets, props, costumes, and locales. Music is pretty good. While Volume 1 excels at the action and style but comes up a little shorter on substance, Volume 2 is the opposite, subduing the action to favor the dialogue and storytelling. Some people may like one over the other. Kill Bill Vol. 2 is a worth watch.