Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) Poster

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The Better Half
Bill Slocum24 September 2004
It's a matter of some debate which volume of Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" is better. Let's end the argument right now: David Carradine doesn't even appear in "Volume 1." Hasn't the Academy mailed him his Best Supporting Actor Oscar already?

In the first volume of "Kill Bill," released only a few months before "Vol. 2" in the tail end of 2003, we met Uma Thurman, one peeded-off super-assassin taking out some folks from her past one at a time, with the occasional mega-posse thrown in for interest. "Vol. 1" had a lot of blood, violence, and wisecracks, and galloped across the screen like a rap video on steroids.

"Vol. 2" is way different. It makes sense it's a separate movie; the tone is such a departure from "Vol. 1" in two ways. One is style. Director Tarantino has fun stylistically quoting Sergio Leone and chop-fu cheapos from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Cinematic sampling is something he's good at and enjoys, but in "Vol. 2" he doesn't go as overboard as he does in "Vol. 1." He pulls back and lets the plot breathe, rather than filling every spare second with a homage-cum-parody that maybe a dozen lucky fans will get. Maybe some here wish he'd pile it on a bit more, but they have to make do with the goofy Pei Mai sequence, which is a flashback and hence not jarring in its "Vol. 1"-style comic-book treatment. Throughout "Vol. 2" the emphasis is on storytelling and character-building, which is where it should be given we are now being asked to deepen our commitment of interest to these people. "Vol. 1" is okay for what it is, but its flash and action are no match for the depth and nuance of "Vol. 2."

This gets to the second different tonal difference between the films, which is emotional. It all comes back to the characters. They don't quite become real people here, but they get close enough to get under your skin. Admittedly, the opening part of "Vol. 2" tests the viewer's patience a bit, there's some long bits that show the director hasn't really mastered self-discipline, like with Thurman's graveyard struggle, but the meandering usually has a purpose. Tarantino is building toward something here that has its payoff when Thurman's character finally has her face-to-face showdown with Carradine's Bill.

From that moment forward to the end, this is the best Tarantino has ever been.

Carradine and Thurman dominate the proceedings with two of the finest performances I've seen, certainly the best Tarantino has directed, playing off the mythology we've been taught in "Vol. 1" and developing resonances with the viewer both together and apart which will surprise those expecting a casual butt-kicking affair. We finally find out what Carradine means in the first line of "Vol. 1" where he tells a whimpering victim he is being masochistic, not sadistic, and its a powerful revelation, that this sinister baddie may have a heart buried under that cold exterior. Carradine is perfect in his phrasing, his pauses, the tired glint in his eye, or the way he says "Kiddo." You can't ask for a better veteran performance. For her part, Thurman presents a brilliantly conflicted character who can not stop either hating or loving Bill, and brings us not into a world of cartoon anguish, but real human pain.

"Kill Bill Vol. 2" is slow-moving, and needs "Vol. 1" in a way few sequels do, since it assumes you know nearly all the characters coming in. That's a weakness. So are some undeniably pointless bits, including the entire sequence with Bill's father figure, Esteban Vihaio, and some business at a bar involving Michael Madsen, who plays a former assassin now gone to seed.

Madsen's good, though, and so's Daryl Hannah as another rather mouthy assassin, Gordon Liu as Pei Mei, and especially Perla Haney-Jardine as a girl named B.B. The nice thing with Tarantino is for every scene that strikes a bum note, there's four or five that hit the right mark, and some manage to do much more. My favorite scene involves a Mexican standoff in an L.A. hotel room between Thurman's character and an anonymous hitwoman, at once grippingly suspenseful, hilarious, and life-affirming. Still, it's the final moments of this film that will stay with you, as Bill and his former pupil work out their "unfinished business" and we are left to ponder the results of their decisions and actions.

"Kill Bill Vol. 2" may not reach the heights of cinema to which it aspires, the level of "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly" quoted in its score, but it's a fine film that will make most viewers glad they stuck around for the second installment. I am.
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Glad to see the split.
Walter Frith20 January 2005
When I first heard that this film was going to be split into two movies instead of being presented as one as originally planned, I was angry. I accused the powers that be of trying to squeeze two box office triumphs out of a single project. But after having seen both 'Kill Bill' and 'Kill Bill Vol.2', I am glad because both films are extremely different even though the stories are tied together with primarily the same actors and having the same director. Containing less action than 'Kill Bill', volume 2 is intelligent, bizarre and extremely engrossing. It absorbs all of its elements equally and David Carradine's performance as Bill is the best thing to happen in movie villain history since, well, I'll leave that up to individual interpretation.
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A Tarantino Masterpiece
abacus245 July 2006
Over the last 40 years, I've seen a lot of movies. All types. Some great, some good and some mostly inedible; most left my breath with a sour smell. Westerns, sci-fi, comedies, dramas, etc. After seeing Kill Bill Vol I, I assumed that any sequel would pale to its predecessor. I, of course, was premature in my prediction. The movie was, by all means, a classic. I feel Taratino was really trying to make a great movie versus making money for his producers. To build his tasty sandwich, he took the lessons he learned from life as a movie maker and cleverly managed to meld some slices of meat from Sergio Leone (subtly), Akira Kurosawa (very subtly) and, I'm stretching it here, Ridley Scott, to create a great sequel to an excellent first movie. He used some great, almost forgotten actors (Daryl Hannah, Micheal Parks, and David Carradine to create a memorable meal. It was only a sandwich, but what morsel it was. I was full and wanting more. Very rare to find this type of film in our corporate world. He must wield some real power in the movie world. I don't know of anyone who has saw this movie who hasn't given it great feedback. And I know all types of viewers. My wife, who really doesn't like anything that is not overly melancholy or dripping with sentimentality, actually liked the whole movie. That in itself is an endorsement. Well done. Mr. Tarantino, you will be hard placed to match this gem.
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Master film-making!
uds323 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Kill Bill: Vol 2 is a whole new ball-game. Whether you assess the film by virtue of its incisive dialog, its brilliant direction, acting par excellance or simply its `appeal,' there is but one factor - Tarantino. QT is to cinematic originality what Kubrick brought to deep space, and beyond the infinite!

A lifetime of forgettable movies excepting BOUND FOR GLORY and arguably Scorcese's BOXCAR BERTHA, is erased for Carradine overnight thanks to Tarantino. As Bill, Carradine has handed in his greatest performance to date.that is to say, QT drew it out of him. The `Old Grasshopper' conveys charm, menace.all the wordly acoutrements his profession would have brought to him. Playing the reed flute that he carved himself from a bamboo plantaton he actually set-up while still making Kung-Fu episodes, Carradine's first appearance outside the small church in El Paso set the scene for the entire movie. He commands our attention from that moment on. His last line, `How do I look?' was delivered with such believable sincerity and emotive sadness, it closed a chapter in Beatrix's and the viewer's recent experiences with remarkably good taste. The smallest part in this movie, from Samuel Jackson's cameo thru Bo Svenson's preacher to Michael Parks' gifted little turn as the crafty old Esteban is just flawless acting of the highest calibre.

QT 'regular' Madsen also scores with arguably his best portrayal in years as the alkified retired gang-member Budd (aka Sidewinder). He really looked the sad dead-beat that he had become.

The flashback sequences are never overlong, out of place or anything but chronologically correct. Everything from Volume 1 is explained. Beatrix's Kung-Fu training sequences with Master Pai Mai might be considered by many, the high point of the film. Certainly Tarantino's love of old Samurai flicks is evidenced throughout, especially in the brief but beautiful silhouette-shots of Master and pupil training. Nice touch too towards the end (I don't wish to give anything away here) where `X' and `Y' are watching SHOGUN ASSASSIN.

The final twenty minutes of the movie fully justify the term `awesome.' At the point Beatrix finally confronts Bill, no-one in the audience would be expecting to see what they do. All I will say is that the `little girl' involved is the most appealing and touchingly innocent little thing I have ever seen in a film. It was a master-stroke of casting, scripting and cinematography. A lot more I would like to say but cannot, without ruining the film for any future viewers.

In my opinion, no film ever made betters this!
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Tarantino's Triumph: Volume Two
Coventry22 April 2004
Rarely known a movie I've been looking forward to so much than Q.T's resumption of the Kill Bill saga. I, as well as millions of others film-freaks, awaited Uma Thurman's further adventures with wicked anticipation. And of course…Tarantino didn't disappoint. Volume two is a completely different movie than volume one, but it's equally brilliant and the director's trademarks are shown more than obviously. Volume one merely was homage to the Eastern Martial Arts movies, with delightfully over-the-top splatter and gore while Vol. 2 fully focuses on ancient westerns and rural horror. There's more dialogue, more twists ‘n turns and the anti-chronological structure results in more depth and involvement. Some unexplained elements from Vol.1 become clear now and even the entire background of Thurman's character gets unveiled. For the very first time, (as far as I can remember) Tarantino really knows how to create an unbearable tension! There's a sequence in which Uma is buried alive and trapped under the ground…Through simple methods, like a completely black screen, Tarantino arises claustrophobia among the audience! Truly terrific filmmaking.

The actors in Kill Bill aren't Hollywood's best, but they each have their charisma and their typical Tarantino characters do the rest. The camera viewpoints are brilliant at times and – as usual – the tiny absurd elements are a joy to discover. Tarantino's entire Kill Bill achievement may easily be considered as one of the most creative and dared film-projects ever! Do yourself a favor and watch them! …Over and over again.
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Different Yes, Bad, No
no_math923 October 2004
This movie is completely different from the first. Unlike the first with fast paced action and extreme entertainingly super-stylish gore, Kill Bill vol. 2 is everything that was missing in th first.

The Bride's revenge is burning strong and we can see it in her eyes. We discover the truth behind the wedding massacre and all questions from the 1st movie are answered. We discover why the Bride is the deadliest woman in the world. We discover why Elle is missing an eye. We discover who Bill really is. We discover the Brides name. And finally we discover the truth of the secret revealed at the end of Vol. 1.

Her first target is Budd. The loser bum ex-deadly assassin living in a trailer in the middle of nowhere. The short confrontation ends with one of the most terrifyingly claustrophobia-inducing (sp?) scenes ever...specially if you watch it in the dark. Then we are taken to the journey of how the Bride became the deadliest person in the world. We see the story between her and her hard-hitting very mean master Pai-Mei.

After a while there is the confrontation with Elle Driver...the Battle of the Blonde Uma Thurman referred to it in an interview. This one fight scene is almost as exciting as watching the Bride battling off tons of the Crazy 88s from Vol. 1.

Then the battle we were all waiting for. For Uma Thurman to Kill Bill...well I won't spoil it for you. Basically vol. 1 was 95% style 5% substance while vol. 2 is 95% substance 5% style. Very emotional and touching movie with a few key gore scenes...definitely a must see...
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A bunch of rubbish with the worst anti-climax ever!
dave_taylor9992 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This really is a poor film in my opinion. I really can't understand all the hype. The fighting is poor, and doesn't know what it wants to be. Half-kung-fu, half-comedy, and competent in neither. If you want a decent kung-fu fight, watch a kung-fu film, not this commercialised rubbish.

And the story and characters are pathetic. The premise is simple, a long quest for vengeance blahblahblah. But this simple story is somehow spread out over about 4 hours of viewing time (and indeed, this review could easily apply to the first film). Quite how boring I found this, as well as the insertion of pointless scenes (e.g. Budd in the nightclub - why add it if I can't even empathize with the character?), is indescribable.

And Tarentino's directing, particularly certain camera styles, is also way below-par. If I had seen this film and none of his others, I wouldn't think he was a half-decent director. Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction fortunately make up for this, but I feel that those films contributed to the misplaced hype surrounding this film.

And finally, the ending, which can be summed up in one word: "WHAT?!". I was expecting something, anything, from the ending, maybe a huge fight or some half-decent dialogue. What did I get? Some pointless ranting and the worst 'move' ever. The Five-Finger-Majiggy. Not only is this outrageously unrealistic (take four steps, talk for ages, another step and, ooh, he's dead. What a shocker) but it really did let down the film and was a wasted opportunity. I can only assume the script-writer gave up and they had to hire monkies to finish it off.

In climax (unlike the film), a massive letdown. This film doesn't belong in a genre (some people for some unfathomable reason call it a thriller) and doesn't belong in a cinema as far as I'm concerned. I have enjoyed many films which have a lesser reputation far more than I enjoyed this.
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I can't believe it's not butter...
podryan25 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I will admit, this film has a great first impression. For anyone who loves fireworks or laser lights, this is definitely the film for you. For anyone who likes books or classical music, maybe something a little more drab and tasteful is more for you. Unfortunately, I'm more of book person, myself.

While I love a decent and mindless action flick, that wasn't ALL I was expecting from Tarantino in these movies. I admired the lofty dialogue that Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction bared, but that suddenly disappeared. In fact, it was replaced with overpoweringly cheesy dialogue! What happened? I will admit, however, a very admirable conversation between Bill and B about Superman had me thinking, "Wow, cool stuff." As far as I can see, this film does a great job of capturing the majority of mindless audiences out there, which is probably why more people actually care about his previous films. Because, good lord, it's cool to like QT now! And while capturing such an audience and gaining that can of recognition CAN be considered an achievement, somewhat, a movie with all style and NO substance is a B movie, period.

No amount of guide-wire flipping or blood-spray can change the fact that this movie is a pretty cheap attempt to gain an audience. Oh, but of course, it's all about revenge. The one of many quotes in the tagline says so. Poor B must Kill Bill (*shivers*) because he killed her friends, took her baby, and then tried to kill her. So.... in she must..... Kill Bill..

Case and point, why do I really care? Yeah, it's that simple. The title itself could be the only dialogue in the entire movie and it wouldn't change a thing. Read the title, no need to read the back.

The Kill Bill series is a bottle rocket, nothing more. Do yourself a favor and save up for the fourth of July.
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A masterpiece by Tarantino.
daria841 September 2004
I've been waiting to see this movie for so long, and when I finally saw it, I loved it! it was worth the wait.

Vol.2 picks up pretty much where Vol.1 left, except for some flashbacks explaining what really happened with the characters. Uma Thurman is back as The Bride, and we get to know her real name finally. Also Daryl Hannah comes back as Elle Driver, the one-eyed killer, Michael Madsen plays Budd, Bill's baby/loser brother, and the infamous Bill is played by David Carradine. The performances are just great, Uma Thurman delivers a great performance as The Bride, we finally get to know her character a little better and the true reasons why she wants to "Kill Bill". I also have to say that David Carradine was perfect to play Bill. He has great charisma and he's so smooth, it's impossible not to like him. Daryl Hannah's performance was great too, and Michael Madsen's too.

Once again the music plays a key factor in this movie, is very well selected and for every single scene the music fits perfectly. And of course, the dialogue. In this movie, we get a lot more dialogue than brutal fighting like in Vol.1, this movie is more centered in explaining what led Bill to do what he did, it pretty much focuses in the past, explaining the whole thing. I especially liked the dialogues between Bill (Carradine) and The Bride (Thurman), I thought they were clever and just great, like all Tarantino's dialogues. Also the locations were excelent, I have no idea where they shot the film, but the landscaping was great, I truly enjoyed it.

Well it would be better to see Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 as one movie, not different, because in the end, you must see them together to understand. So I give this movie a 10/10, I loved it, it was great, great dialogues, great performances, great fighting sequences, everything was great! And I think that Uma Thurman and/or David Carradine (at least him) should be nominated for an Oscar, they were perfect and they deserve that international film makers acknowledge that. Tarantino you are the best!!!
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JonSnowsMother3 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The movie wasn't bad and i am not saying you should avoid it. But after a thrilling and great first movie i was expecting this to be just as good but even though Tarantino did a good job and some impressive acting by Uma Thurman. What the film lacks is the poor storyline. If you've seen the first film you will realise the lack of fights which was shocking enough.

Like i said earlier the film has a weak storyline and the only way to make it better is a good screenplay and even though it starts off quite good it turns poor near the end.

One thing the movie did do very well was the acting Uma Thurman and David Carradine give good strong performances. One problem with the movie is a big twist happens near the end and it is poorly done for such an important scene. This film isn't bad just that if you enjoyed the first film don't get so excited but i am sure most big Tarantino fans will enjoy it.
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Kill Bill? Should be Kill Tarantino, more like...
Rob_Taylor30 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Awful, boring, slow and tedious are just a few words that spring to mind when I recall having to sit through Kill Bill Vol 2. And those are the kindest words I can think of. A few more choice words would be crap, s***e, rubbish or just plain retarded.

Now, I admit, I wasn't expecting KB Vol 1 rehashed, but I did expect something not too dissimilar from Vol 2. KB2 is to KB1 as The Sound of Music is to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The first film's non-stop action has been replaced almost entirely by non-stop dialogue. And not particular good dialogue either. In fact, I'll coin a new term here - dire-logue. The film is littered with it. Any film requires a certain amount of exposition, and even mystic claptrap like that in the Matrix movies. But KB Vol 2 takes claptrap to a new level that makes the Matrix movies look positively Spartan in terms of jibber-jabber. But the worst thing about the chatter in KB2 is the total and utter meaninglessness of most of it. It just drones on and on. A character makes a point verbally then, instead of getting on with the movie, the character is forced to belabour the point over and over until you're practically screaming at them to shut the Hell up and get on with it!

Nor do the pointlessly long (and in fact, just pointless) extra scenes add to the film in any way. For example, we learn that Bud (Bill's brother) lives in a trailer and has a crappy job at a local bar as a bouncer. He's become a loser - a far cry from his assassin days. What I've just summarized in two sentences is dragged out on film over the course of perhaps twenty minutes or more, including an entirely tedious and unnecessary set of scenes involving Bud at work that add absolutely nothing whatsoever to the film and introduce characters that have no bearing on the movie at all. Another scene involves the Bride talking to one of Bill's old colleagues in order to find out where Bill is located. This scene drags on terribly and gives the viewer pointless information on this character which again has precisely no bearing on the movie at all. The only scene which is worthy of inclusion is the obligatory training scene. This is a direct homage to many old Kung Fu movies, right down to the beard stroking sensei. But even this goes on unnecessarily and has you shifting uncomfortably in your seat. And although this scene ties in with the finale and burial scenes, it only serves to remind you that, whilst the Bride was seemingly unable to master punching her fist through a piece of wood, she was apparently highly enough thought of by Pai Mei (the sensei) that he taught her the "hand of death" trick which he had previously never taught to anyone. Hmmm.

The action sequences are brief and entirely unsatisfying for a movie based around the concept of revenge. Bud isn't even slain by the Bride, but by Elle using a Black Mamba (we know it's a Black Mamba because, as Bud is writhing in his death throes on the floor, Elle gives us a tedious five minute exposition on the snake). Elle isn't killed by the Bride, but rather maimed and left after a fight that was very scrappy and not at all elegant. And finally Bill, who is killed by the Bride (after endless boring dialogue about superheroes) in one of the most anticlimactic and disappointing "final encounter" scenes I've ever witnessed.

The truth of this movie is that it's really not a movie at all. It's the extra half-hour that they had to cut from the first film, padded out to two hours or so to make a sequel. With not even particularly brutal editing, KB2 could be distilled down into 30 minutes of relevant, interesting scenes and tacked on to KB1 to make that movie complete. Otherwise this bloated monstrosity is doomed to obscurity in the way that so many sequels so often are - due to over hype and audience expectations being too high.

Quentin Tarantino is to be commended for his movie efforts on the most part. However, KB2 is little more than self-indulgent twaddle wrapped up as a film and served up for consumption on the strength of its predecessor. It's destined to become one of those "I liked so-and-so, but the sequel was rubbish" type of deals. This is even more certain in the light of certain comments I read by Tarantino where he made a big deal of telling everyone that he was sparing no effort in the editing room. If this film is an example of his editing skills, I'd say he needs to be evicted from post-production facilities and the door locked securely behind him to ensure he can't get back in.
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Honestly better than the first
gmorgan-424 July 2004
Kill Bill Volume 2 is the astonishing follow-up to perhaps 2003's best film, Kill Bill Volume 1. Quentin Tarantino once again demonstrates a mastery of dialogue in this homage to the great western and kung fu movies that inspired him from his video clerk days.

Simply, this film is as entertaining as hell. Tarantino unabashedly takes the viewer for a joyride, and the end result is a movie with intense action, tempered with some of the best dialogue I have ever heard.

Some have pointed to this film as inferior to the first volume of Kill Bill: I disagree. Whereas Tarantino is a great action director (the scene in the first film with the crazy 88s is one of my top five favorite battle scenes of all time), he even surpasses this talent in his ability to write witty, intriguing dialogue: and this film really delivers it. One scene in particular, with David Carradine as Bill, near the end, speaking with Uma Thurman's The Bride while he makes a sandwich, is unforgettable and insightfully interesting. There are few points where the film drags, and the movie ultimately creates the impression of a visceral experience. 10/10. Go see this film, it is by far the best film released so far this year.
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Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Bill
Dee8 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I opted to see "LadyKillers" instead of this movie recently. But after a few people said it was so great, I decided to give it a chance. Wrong move!!! There were a few nice action sequences but it was like watching paint dry waiting for them. I'll go ahead and mention spoiler alert now since my comments may spoil it for those who enjoy this type of movie. I nodded off a few times so they might have answered the only question I had which was how Bill got the daughter from the pregnant mother he tried to kill. By the time they showed the daughter, I really didn't care. At least 30 minutes of useless dialog should have been removed. It even took an eternity for Bill to die. And why was Uma crying after striking the fatal blow??? It was about as dumb as her going after everyone with that sword even though she was an expert marksman with a gun. Although LadyKillers wasn't as funny as I had hoped, it was the better movie of the two. My recommendation is that you skip both of these and read a good book if you want some real entertainment.
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Kill Bore Vol. 2
Mark Hale1 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I couldn't watch it to the end. Well, I kind of knew what was going to happen anyway. Quentin Tarantino was going to meander around, alternating pointless violence with hip dialogue until Uma Thurman's character finally got her revenge. Or not. To be honest I really didn't care if Beatrix set up home with Bill and they baked cookies together forever instead of her killing him.

Everything that was wrong with the first movie is wrong with this one in spades, despite the contributions of some talented actors and some fine cinematography. Overlong, derivative and self-indulgent, Quentin Tarantino's homage to world cinema mediocrity really knows how to outstay its welcome.

I honestly hope that Tarantino has another film like "Reservoir Dogs" or "Jackie Brown" in him. It would be tragic if the last films he ever made were as pointlessly bad as "Kill Bill" 1 & 2.
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subtly disturbing
kiehlchristie24 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
So the second half of Tarantino's epic Kill Bill promised to be the pick me up the first required to stand up and be validated. It failed miserably in that attempt. Beware, there may be some spoilers.

Kill Bill 2 suffers from a shift in directorial tone so drastic that much of what Tarantino so effectively did in the first one was lost. In the second installment the audience is shown the softer side of Thurman's character. Instead of the spectacle of Thurman out slaughtering hundreds of people in enacting her heroic vengeance, we see her succumb to the psychological trauma that would naturally follow from what she had just participated in. The empowered woman of the first installment (which is a problem in itself: giving a woman a sword and implying that she's empowered) had all together fallen apart and assumed the role of the helpless and weak.

Kill Bill 2 lacks the elaborately sarcastic violence that made the first volume close to palatable. The second is filled with an overtly sadistic misogyny that is disturbing to watch, for example, Budd shooting Thurman in the chest with rock salt and burying her alive after threatening to fill her eye-sockets with mace. All of this in an uncomfortably close quarters with Thurman so that we can watch her suffer. Where the first movie had fun with its overblown violence; the second relishes in a much more terribly painful place.

Kill Bill 2, does however; include some instances of rich dialogue. There is a scene where Carradine and Thurman discuss superheroes and why it is that they are popular. The audience learns the appeal of superman, where he differs from other super heroes. Instead of a human that changes to an alter ego, superman is an alter ego that changes into a human. This conversation is reminiscent of Tarantino's older works, but is short-lived.

One of the problems with the Kill Bill movies may actually be with more than just the movie. Tarantino champions the middle-class white male perspective, and this perspective becomes visible if we consider the stereotypes adopted by each character. For example in the first movie we see a juxtaposition of two kinds of stereotypes imposed on Japanese women by American men. The first is the school girl, adopted by Oren Ishi's body guard, and the other is Oren herself, dressed in traditional Japanese garb for the final battle with Thurman. In the first installment, Tarantino effectively wrapped these stereotypes and issues into a sardonic and nearly humorous violence. In the second, Tarantino disregards that tone. So what the audience is left with is a plot that very subtly declares a deeper malaise beyond the movie. It exposes an unspoken evolution in American racism and sexism, and I believe it does so unintentionally.

Half of what made me feel ill when I left the movie theater last Sunday was the movie, and the other half was its being so popular
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A Tarantino masterpiece that surpasses its predecessor.
psagray4 August 2014
In this film Quentin offers a masterful, deafening, powerful, highly intelligent and committed to the vengeance of the Bride closure. You could say that the film follows the path of revenge of the Bride, now more determined than ever to exterminate without mercy or compassion. Now face the most dangerous and winding up of course get to Bill.

The film opens with a spectacular takeover of Bill and groom before this is case, the scene is spectacular, its dialogue before slaughter is prodigious. And so begins this sensational film. Again with the same great technical partners, Quentin tries a mix of genres here but what stands out is a clear influence of Spagetti- western, the soundtrack is brighter than in the first part (thanks to his friend Robert Rodriguez).

With less gruesome violence in the first part, this film much more dialogue, explores the feelings of the bride and the fine because of his revenge, Tarantino shines every scene and gives a single tone, the film is a delight impressive. Better and more noticeable than its previous, the film falls into gloating and is captivating in every frame. The cheers are definitely are great for Uma Thurman who lends body and soul to her role in the films remain his masterful performance in both films. Superb work David Carradine, great, Bill has his words. Excellent also the violent and terrible Elle Driver Daryl Hannah and Michael Madsen excellent.

Everything is cause for admiration here, Tarantino gave us a masterpiece without doubt and is positioned as a perfectionist and retailer of huge professionalism.
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lissotrichous15 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Lamest sequel ever!

I kind of liked Kill Bill 1, but this ruined all of it.

It didn't have the same over-the-top stylization, humor, anything original.

It'll be on Lifetime forever, cuz it's all soap opera drama about the cliché man-who-done-her-wrong; "I told you it was your baby (boo-hoo, why didn't you believe me when I said you were the only one)?" I was not expecting baby-mama drama, and a lengthy girl-power sermon.

How does anyone like this movie???

It's too corny for guys, yet too violent for girls. It tries to please everybody, but that just tells you what you should have already known : Tarantino's a no-talent sell-out brown-noser.
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It transcends its genre and becomes Tarantino's most thoughtful and sophisticated work
PlutonicLove15 April 2004
In my brief, initial review of 'Kill Bill Vol. 1.' I made the regrettable mistake of dismissing it as exceedingly pleasing yet unsubstantial stylistic masturbation, lacking the profundity and characterizations of Tarantino's previous works. Rarely have I been happier to be proven wrong.

What once seemed like somewhat incoherent cinematic recklessness has, after viewing the second part of Mr. Tarantino's saga, revealed itself to be wild, imaginative and brilliant filmmaking. As a whole, 'Kill Bill' is utterly unified (not despite but because of the radical shift in tone), possesses a strong, dramatic ark, and, above all, stands as quite possibly the most passionate, loving tribute to cinema I have ever seen. While part one pays homage to Brian De Palma, Dario Argento and the Shaw Brothers, part two cites, among many others, Jean-Luc Godard, Sergio Leone, and Robert Siodmark.

But that's far from all.

In his critical essay 'The Cinema of the Cool', Kevin Murphy suggests that Tarantino must move on and grow up to fully realize his potential as a filmmaker. In my opinion, with this piece, he has done so. Those merely seeking the blood-splattered, broken-bone action of Vol. 1 will be severely disappointed by Vol. 2, which is infinitely more thoughtful, pondering the nature of violence, both in cause and effect. While the action in the first installment was great, comic book fun, here it becomes severely unpleasant, cringe inducing, and never without consequence. If anything, it reminded me of the great Akira Kurosawa's work. Remarkable.
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Boring - SPOILERS when it says (SPOILERS)
jdish17 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Its been a while since i watched a movie in the theatres that i actually looked at my watch as much as i watched the movie. kill bill vol 1 was an actual decent movie for tarantino, it had laughs, great fight scenes and some decent dialogue. and i don't even like him that much. so obviously i came into kill bill vol 2 expecting to be blown away by great effects, great fight scenes, and good dialogue. well the only thing i got was DIALOGUE. it was like i was watching a woody allen movie without the humor. honestly there were some parts that i enjoyed but there was too much story telling. and another thing is that in the first one she had such a hard time getting to the people she wanted to kill and then the scenes were creative and well made.

in this one (SPOILERS) she doesn't even kill one of the people on her list and the fight scene with elle driver had little fighting and although the ending was creative it wasn't pleasing. and finally the death of bill was awful, we never even got to see this man fight he just dies by some BS technique. what a bore-fest 3/10
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Nooo! Tarantino, what have you done, man?
Dan8 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Why, Tarantino? Why have you done this? I loved the first one. Absolutely loved Vol. 1. I wanted to love 2. I saw it in what could be the best considered cirumstances, and I sincerely believe it would have been a better night had I not seen it (and seen Crank instead.) So much talking, so much bullcrap, not enough cuttin dudes up. Uma gets shot but she punches her way out of a coffin and there's an old Asian dude with glued-on eyebrows... The yellowbook guru guy turned out to be Bill...

She even ditched the Pussy Wagon. I think this is a symbol of what happened to the movie. It left behind the cool, the excitement, in favor of story and dialogue, but it just didn't work.

And it's not just that I hate dialogue-heavy movies. 12 Angry Men was all dialogue, and that's one of the best films ever made, I think. But I'm expecting something different from Tarantino.

Don't watch this. People tried to warn me but I saw it anyway. Don't watch this.
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On the whole, so to speak, or by itself, the second part of Kill Bill fits the Tarantinian psychology
MisterWhiplash22 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Although, as a film buff myself, having a whole Kill Bill epic in one sitting would've been satisfying, like the first part that was split Vol. 2 works extraordinarily well. In terms of storytelling it's direct and (of course) unconventional, in style Tarantino pays homage/borrows (or depending on your point of view steals) from most of the films that stew around in his arsenal. And with dialog, in maybe a couple of moments it doesn't seem up to par, but it's not often. And the acting is in the greatest tradition of B-movie, spaghetti western, shaw-brothers, kung-fu et. all. If you look at both Kill Bills it's fascinating as a movie buff to discover things you haven't seen before (i.e. the whole blood-coated style of the climax in vol. 1) and things you recognize right away (i.e. the unmistakable songs of Ennio Morricone, who is just as creditable as Leone for Tarantino's style).

What's there to say about the story, except that it picks up where it left off? Sort of- as usual, the non-linear story aspect kicks in, and two sections of the film derail from the continuing story of revenge on the DIVAs and Bill (the squad members this time being the perfectly paced in tone and presence Michael Madsen as Budd, and Daryl Hannah's most vindictive role as Elle Driver). At first, we get a stark, black and white view of what the "Massacre at Two Pines" was like, and right away we're introduced (finally) to Bill, played by David Carradine, one of the most calm, affecting film villain performances in recent memory. The other derailment is to tell the immensely entertaining story of The Bride's training by the heavy-duty Pai Mei (Gordon Liu, in one of his performances in the whole KB saga). This could be counted as the funnest part of the film, aside from a few key moments, as the camera sweeps from medium to close up happen every thirty seconds or so.

In the acting department, as I've said, Tarantino gets a big boost- this could be counted as being one of the key performances of not only Carradine's career, but Thruman's as well. They elevate the mood of Tarantino's (sometimes) tongue-in-cheek dialog, but they're also pro's that do their best when it comes time to the showdown, with monologues that come close to being QT's most memorable (although not his best- as cool as it all sounds, it doesn't hit the Pulp Fiction marker). When it does end, the whole operatic sense of the film seems to work, and to the audience it will either be a fitting end or a disappointment. It is, at least, the most ambitious action/comedy/drama/kung-fu/western/romance film (this is referring to Vol. and both volumes together) in many a moon; it's a lot like opening up the filmmaker's skull, and getting a scrambled up dosage of his memories and references, and it works much more often than not. Oh, and how about a bit of applause to Bob Richardson and Michael Parks! A+
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Not As Much Fun as the First One
zardoz-137 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Quentin Tarantino has got talent, but he whipped up so much frenzy with "Kill Bill, Volume 1" that there was no way that he live up to what he had started in "Kill Bill, Volume 2." "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" has more artistic merit that the second half. For instance, Tarantino never showed Bill in a full shot in the first half. Obviously, the "Pulp Fiction" director was treating his chief villain like the early Blofeld in the James Bond thrillers that didn't show the villain until "You Only Live Twice." In the first half of "Kill Bill," our heroine--Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman)survives an attempt on her life. We know that the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad turns out for her wedding rehearsal and mowed down everybody in a barrage of gunfire. However, this singular event was never shown. The discretion that Tarantino exercised in "Bill 1" distinguishes it from the lack of discretion that he depicted in the follow-up. Indeed, he doesn't show this homicidal quartet actually perforating everybody in the chapel. Nevertheless, aside from showing the scene as a necessity, this is basically the only thing that he does that doesn't follow the chronology.

"Kill Bill, Volume 1" surpasses "Kill Bill, Volume 2" because the demise of O-Ren Ishii and Vernita Green are more interesting than the deaths of Budd, Elle Driver, and Bill. Nothing in this half compares with the outrageous swordplay at the House of Blue Leaves. Furthermore, none of the villains in the second half are as memorable as O-Ren. You can almost share of sympathetic tear for O-Ren because she worked up way up to a position of prominence in the Tokyo underworld. Budd and Elle Driver qualify as sadistic louts. The Bride (Uma Thurman) doesn't even kill Budd. Indeed, Elle Driver kills him when she stashes a venomous black mamba in a red piece of luggage that contains a million dollars in $100 dollar bills.

The fight scene in "Kill Bill 2" is a reversal of the fight scene in "Kill Bill 1." Instead of staging an over-the-top combat sequence in a spacious restaurant, Tarantino choreographs a demolition scene fracas in a trailer. While it is imaginative, it seems more claustrophobic and exciting. Unlike O-Ren, neither Budd nor Elle Driver have anything approaching a back-story. He is a drunk and she is a sadistic bitch. The rewards of "Kill Bill 2" are the scenes at Pei Mei's place where The Bride learns how to punch her way through wood as well as a special punch that later enables her to kill Bill. Compared with its predecessor, "Kill Bill 2" looks and sounds more like a Tarantino film because the dialogue sounds more like "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction." Unfortunately, again, the characters are not as interesting. You never really hate Bill who comes off as more charismatic. Nevertheless, "Kill Bill 2" is worth watching and studying for its narrative structure of setting up things and paying them off. The homages abound and Tarantino indulges more in his penchant for making references to other movies.
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The Emperor's New Clothes
Turfseer17 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Quentin Tarrantino tells us in the documentary which is part of the special features section of the Kill Bill Volume 2 DVD, that Volume 2 is much more an homage to spaghetti westerns than to the martial arts homage of Volume 1. Volume 2 brings us back to the beginning of Volume 1, The Massacre at Two Pines. It's a slow-moving scene where we finally get to meet Bill who ultimately rejects The Bride's deep-seated wish to leave her murderous past behind. Quite fortunately Tarrantino opts not to mimic Peckinpah westerns and show us close-ups of the massacre in slow motion. In fact none of the massacre is shown and by doing so he wisely avoids alienating his audience. Kill Bill Volume 2 ends up being more camp than horror show. Had Tarrantino decided to show the massacre of innocents it wouldn't have worked in his film precisely because the victims (aside from the 'real' people at the wedding rehearsal) are comic book villains who we are not supposed to identify with.

Michael Madsen as Bill's brother, Budd, does an excellent job portraying the former assassin turned bouncer. The portrait of the wise-cracking psychopath features some of Tarrantino's best dialogue. But the whole idea that The Bride (aka Beatrix Kiddo), who has just taken down 100 Samurai swordsman in a space of few minutes in Volume 1 would allow herself to be so easily subdued by a blast of "rock salt" from Budd's rifle is ludicrous. Obviously Tarrantino needed a way to have her overcome an even more impossible challenge than the 100 plus Samurai swordsman—in this case, she now ends up buried alive in a coffin and in Houdini-like fashion, is able to extricate herself from the situation. The absurdity of the scene reaches its apotheosis when Beatrix utilizes her zen-like martial arts training to punch a hole in the coffin with her bare hand and then miraculously levitate through mounds of earth to freedom above ground.

I very much liked how Tarrantino uses Gordon Liu to play different parts in Volume 1 and 2. Liu is the martial arts master Pai Mei in Volume 2 and Beatrix's training at the hands of this gruff instructor prove to be one of the more engaging and streamlined sequences in the film. Tarrantino also uses another actor, Michael Parks, to play two different roles. He's the sheriff in the beginning of Volume 1 and transforms himself into Bill's father figure, an old pimp, Esteban Vihaio, in Volume 2. Parks really shows his mettle as an actor since he is virtually unrecognizable from one part to the next.

Things get even better in the "Elle and I" sequence. Darryl Hannah is perfect as the demented one-eyed assassin who first kills Budd with a Black Mamba poisonous snake and then gets into a fight to the death with Beatrix. The fight scene was so over the top that it can be considered a classic in terms of campy female vs. female fight sequences. It's a scene that perhaps comes closest to being funny out of all the scenes in both Volumes 1 and 2.

Unlike Volume 1 which ends with a bang, Volume 2 ends with a whimper. In a very long-winded and tame confrontation, the late David Carradine (not looking very well at all) finally reveals why he 'overreacted' and went after Beatrix. It was a matter of simple jealousy—he couldn't stand the idea of Beatrix being with another man. So that's it—after one killing after another, the whole reason for Bill's actions rests on irrational jealousy. This is what we've waited for, for the entire movie. Tarrantino doesn't bother explaining who Bill is at all. We find next to nothing about him. He has no history and is merely a flimsy prop, the catalyst to get all the bloody events moving. Bill has no back story and Carradine has no character to mold here.

Tarrantino is probably better served directing movies based on adaptations. As a writer of his own material, Tarrantino is the master of not only style over substance but elevating nastiness to high kitsch. Visually he'll be remembered for some classic scenes but often many of these scenes are too drawn out and need to be edited. Most disappointing is the revelation of the ultimate motivation of the antagonist—in its utter simplicity Tarrantino is revealed to be the Emperor with no clothes, an 'auteur' who puts a premium on 'shock cinema' at the expense of intellect.
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The Moose Hole - Review of Kill Bill (Volume II)
Joseph Kastner27 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
`Revenge is a dish best served cold.'

When we last left off, Quentin Tarantino has re-emerged onto the Hollywood scene for the first time in six years with not just one but two films to be released into theaters to an overwhelmingly awaiting cult audience. But not everyone was especially happy with the decision of both Tarantino and his distributor, Miramax Pictures, to split the tale of The Bride in two. There were some in the vast assortment of captious movie-goers that took this as a sign of continued greed amongst the `Hollywood elite' in that the decision of splitting the film into two parts was done to get the loyal fans to shell-out double the normal ticket price for essentially one film. Granted, in the end, that turned out not to be the case, as the film would actually be five hours in length and thus be deemed too long to be taken all at once, but the issue still remained whether the rest of Hollywood would follow in the foot-steps of Kill Bill and spark a brand new trend, only this time with less honorable then Tarantino did. That is still to be seen and perhaps that argument is a bit overzealous . In this situation, one shouldn't question what could happen in the future but whether or not the primary influence, namely Kill Bill, did what it claimed it would accomplish, by delivering movie-goers ultimate satisfaction for dollar.

Kill Bill (Volume II) is the second, and possibly final, installment of the story that centers on a former member of a group of assassins who seeks revenge for the actions done on to her by her former colleagues. For those unfamiliar with the first installment, here is a slight recap of previous events:

A woman known only as The Bride has waken up from a four year comma after her former boss Bill left her for dead on the day of her wedding killing her fiancé, the wedding party and her unborn child. Unfortunately for the skilled assassin, he made one big mistake: he failed to kill her. Now that she has awakened from her living slumber, The Bride will travel the world picking off her attempted killers one by one including the mysterious Bill. First up on her list is O-Ren Ishi, aka Cottonmouth, and her group of Japanese underground assassins and then Vernita Green, aka Copperhead. Upon completing the task of killing her first two targets, The Bride continues on her rampage determined to kill everyone on her list, all the way to Bill.

The second installment picks up basically where the first one left off, leaving The Bride heading to her next target, Budd (aka Sidewinder), who happens to be the run-down and vastly inferior brother of Bill himself. But, for at least a few moments, Budd gets the upper-hand on the film's lead assassin by placing her in a coffin and burring her alive. In the time it takes her to escape, the audience is informed on the vast training The Bride took in order to become the superior apache she is today. Upon escaping the make-shift grave, The Bride duels with her contemporary rival, Elle Driver (aka California Mountain Snake), who not only killed Pai Mai but has her eyes set on The Bride herself. The final lag of her journey brings her to the home of Bill himself and along with him comes a little surprise: her daughter. The story for Kill Bill (Volume II) is quite arguably vastly superior to the one written up for the first installment in that this one deals not so much with action but dialogue and meanings discovered behind actions made by characters throughout this film as well as the previous installment. Once again Tarantino demonstrates his remarkable filmmaking skills by back-tracking the story at precise moments that by doing so will explain actions yet to come. Few writers can pull such an effect successful and Tarantino does so brilliantly.

As was said with the previous installment, a relative bunch of low-profile actors and actresses make up one of the better casts of the year for this film, but this time around we introduced to a slightly different lot from the last film. Michael Madsen gives a dead-on (no pun intended) performance as Budd, a run-down and subjacent version of his former self now that he is no longer in the hit-man business. Madsen gives a sense that the character really contemplates on what he has done and whether or not he feels remorse for those actions but at the same time showcases the scoundrel that still lives within him. Daryl Hannah is quite intriguing as Elle Driver, clearly the most ruthless and baneful character in the film series. The only problem with her role was the dreadfully over-the-top performance given when her character's eye was plucked out. Granted having one's eye plucked out isn't a pleasant manner but what Hannah presented on screen was unconvincing and quite annoying after some time. Uma Thurman's role in the second installment can't be complimented more then her role in the first . She gives an absolutely brilliant, witty, and exhilarating performance that works every moment she is on screen. And David Carradine, best known for his Kung Fu television series, gives a `sweet', vibrant, and utterly perfect performance as the title character, Bill. He shines in every scenes he is presented in and works exceedingly well with Uma Thurman . There isn't much to say other then `Bravo'!

Overall, Kill Bill plays out much like the concept of revenge itself - actions and instincts engulf us at first, but as time goes on and the journey rampages toward its ultimate conclusion, truth and meaning quickly take over. Where Tarantino starts off with a bang, he rightfully finishes off with a shock to our system - maturity and philosophical contemplation on the subject of revenge and what it means for those involved. Those who were truly engulfed by the blood and gut spilling actions of the first film will be greatly disappointed by the second installment unless you are one of those geeks who enjoy dialogue far more then comical violence, which may not be too many. But if there is even just a few then that will demonstrate the true essence of maturity amongst the movie-going public. Despite a pacing that made the feature feel a tad longer then was probably necessary, Kill Bill (Volume II) serves as a fitting conclusion to Quentin Tarantino's near perfect masterpiece . a masterpiece that may take quite some time to surpass but if the young filmmaker keeps putting out work like his previous films, his cult audience is more then willing to wait.
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