Thursday, December 12, 2013

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

2003 was the year everyone was talking about Kill Bill (and maybe Return of the King too, but that’s another story). Tarantino fans were thrilled with the movie (for the most part) and were looking forward to what the Bride was going to do next. Would the final confrontation with Bill be worth the wait?

The Bride (Uma Thurman) has survived her battles with two of the assassins that destroyed her life, but two more remain: Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) and Budd (Michael Madsen). Driver in particular seems to have a real grudge against The Bride and is looking forward to a full-blown showdown. But Budd isn’t as energetic and opts for a more laid back approach. The Bride underestimates Budd and soon finds herself buried alive!

But The Bride has trained with the Kung Fu master Pai Mei (Gordon Liu). She was tormented, abused and yet the trial by fire provided her with new skills. She will need all of them if she hopes to escape her premature burial and face Bill (David Carrdine). But Bill has one small surprise that may keep the Bride from completing her mission: to Kill Bill.

Good Points:
  • The face off between the Bride and Elle is classic Tarantino
  • Bill’s little twist was a nice piece of work
  • The Pai Mei sequence was a nice nod to old Kung Fu classics

Bad Points:
  • The pacing of this volume slows way down
  • Lots of dialogue scenes that seem to go on too long
  • The ending may feel anti-climactic to some

It was going to be tough to follow the speedy action packed first volume. So Tarantino goes in a slightly different direction, fleshing out the characters a bit more (the Bride finally gets a name) and giving us a lengthy verbal confrontation between Bill and the Bride. This shift will work better for some viewers than others. Watching the films back to back makes volume 2 an uneven experience, but as a stand alone film it’s still a good time. Yes it’s a bit self indulgent with the dialogue, but I don’t mind it too much. Not quite as much fun as the first volume, but well worth a spot in any Tarantino collection.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 4
Sound: 5
Acting: 4
Script: 4
Music: 5
Direction: 4
Entertainment: 4
Total:  4

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.    


  1. It's a terrific double Bill. ;)

    Great film and really I need to go back and watch it. It's been a long time, but I think it ranks up there for me personally as one of tarantinos best.

    Cheers my friend

    1. Yeah I hadn't seen it in quite a few years. In fact I saw part 1 on Laserdisc... that's how long ago it was. I found the Blu-ray version of both movies in one set for a really cheap price. Couldn't resist.

  2. I liked this one, too, in particular the out-of-nowhere defeat (albeit temporary) at the hands of Budd. It was a defeat anticipated in a sense by Mark Twain: "The best swordsman in the world doesn't need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn't do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn't prepared for him; he does the thing he ought not to do; and often it catches the expert out and ends him on the spot." Budd had the sense to know he was outclassed and not to contest Beatrix' swordsmanship at all.

    1. So true. I love that moment too. She's so confident after taking out Ishii and the Crazy 88. She figures Budd is living in a trailer by himself, this is gonna be easy. Well not quite. :) Nice quote from Twain. Is that from one of his stories?

    2. It's from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court