Review: Kill Bill: Volume 2

Many, including everyone I know, have been eagerly awaiting Volume 2 of the Kill Bill saga since the first was released last year. Quentin Tarantino’s fourth film featured the graphic, yet cartoonish violence, that we had become accustom to seeing in today’s cinema, along with intelligent, fun dialog. When the original Kill Bill was split into two pieces, many where outraged, especially when the first film ended with only two of the Bride’s five victims accounted for, but after viewing the film, those doubters were put in their places. Be warned though, those expecting the same type of film as the first will be mildly disappointed as the action takes a backseat to often-windy dialog and Tarantino’s set up of the film’s back-story.

Even without the abundance of action (such as the massacre of the Crazy 88’s in the first film), Volume 2 manages to thoroughly impress with its penance for excellent storytelling. After disposing of two of her former assassins in Volume 1, The Bride (Uma Thurman) now sets her sights on her last two compatriots and her boss, the elusive Bill. Tarantino gives us a look into the setting up of the entire story, beginning with the massacre that started this mess. Whereas the first film focused on telling of The Bride’s revenge, the second sets up why she wants such revenge and how she became the killer that she is today.

As I stated before, those expecting a redux of the first film will be disappointed to find out that only one major fight scene takes place during the course of the movie, but the senseless destruction off a trailer at the hands of the battle’s combatants is more than worth the price of admission. If the film were handled by any other director other than Tarantino I simply don’t think we would pay $6.50 to see people talk for two hours, but, as with Pulp Fiction, QT manages to craft the banter between two people into some of the most intriguing, enlightening, and interesting bits of talking ever put on film.

The story itself is your standard revenge-fare with an almost super-hero like protagonist and the calm, cool, and collected antagonist who knows the end is coming. After watching the film I can’t see anyone but David Charradine as Bill. The dead-pan style in which he delivers his lines and his appearance at the end of the film with the dart of truth serum provides both comic relief and drama. One of the best parts of the film is The Bride’s training with Pai Mei, a white bearded, elusive trainer who likes to stroke his beard and laugh, although this part of the film also makes the ending almost too obvious.

I personally would have like to see more fighting in the film, only because Tarantino and fighting choreographer Woo-ping Yuen have such a knack for creating memorable fight scenes filled with canon fodder as well as characters that we care about. Yet, as I stated before, the fight between Elle Driver and The Bride may be the best in both volumes as the mutual hatred they have for each other ends in an almost comic sense.

As a whole film, Kill Bill is a masterpiece up on a pedestal with the original Matrix, Fight Club, and Pulp Fiction. They all feature directors who know (or in some cases, knew) how to craft an excellent film and do things differently. Also, for all of you wondering out there, The Bride’s name is revealed at the end of the film, including her last name, which will make you chuckle when you then go back and re-watch some of the earlier scenes with Bill.

Kill Bill is an excellent film; there just is no other way to put it. Aside from having one of the longest credit sequences in the history of film, the movie is such an engrossing tale, with such amazing characters, that you have to feel for the Bride, and her pain. As sequels become more and more mundane and cookie-cutter, it’s nice to see a studio and a director making one film, cutting it into two almost self-contained parts, and fill it to the brim with fun. Fans of the series will love this, and with the convenient release of Volume 1 on DVD and the proposed super-box-set in the future, we will be hearing about the Kill Bill saga for quite some time, and that’s no problem to me.

Written by Erich Becker
Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!