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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
Review: Kill Bill Volume 2
By Keily Oakes
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Uma Thurman
Uma Thurman returns as the vengeful Bride
The second part of Kill Bill is released in the US on Friday, six months after the first instalment of Quentin Tarantino's bloody epic.

Originally, Kill Bill was supposed to be just one film - but thank goodness the decision was made to release it as two rather than slash it in the editing room.

The second volume kicks off with The Bride, played by Uma Thurman, giving a quick-but-classy update of her vengeful adventures.

A new character to the story is Budd, played by Michael Madsen - a bloated white trash bouncer at a topless bar, and the brother of Bill.

He knows he is on The Bride's hit list - but thinks he is clever enough to defeat her.

Budd and The Bride's sequences together culminate in a claustrophobic scene fit for a horror - which will be loved or abhorred by audiences in equal measure.

David Carradine
David Carradine is the film title's Bill
Darryl Hannah's character Elle Driver gets a better showing than in the first film and proves why Tarantino put his faith in such a hit-and-miss actress.

Like many of Tarantino's characters, Elle is a caricature and Hannah plays it well.

Finally, Bill's time in the spotlight arrives for David Carradine, who plays the leader of the assassin group and the one who ordered the wedding day massacre.

Carradine will be unknown to many viewers - but like Tarantino's casting of John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, his career will be put firmly back on track after his performance as the calm and calculating mass murderer.

Unsurprisingly, the film ends with The Bride's showdown with Bill which, although a slightly wordy encounter, finishes off the film well.

Gordon Liu
Gordon Liu as Pei Mei adds a humorous touch to the art of violence
Tarantino once again flips through pastiches of genres for each chapter of the story.

Gordon Liu as Pei Mei steals an entire scene from Thurman in an homage to 1970s martial arts films.

There are moments of sheer hilarity tucked into the scenes of hardcore violence throughout the film - and a cracking soundtrack to boot.

There are less multi-character battles than in Volume 1, with one-on-one combat the preferred option, consequently the body count is reduced.

Volume 1 was a film that really split its audiences between those that loved it and saw it as another feather in Tarantino's cap, and those that detested it.

It is more of the same - with ultra-violence, parody and at times laughable dialogue
If you hated the first film, then do not bother watching the conclusion.

It is more of the same - with ultra-violence, parody and at times laughable dialogue.

But the same reasons why people hated were the reasons for the opposite camp to revel in it.

For those that loved Kill Bill's first outing, the conclusion should not disappoint.

But it may be a touch sentimental for some as there is far more emotion on display than in Volume 1.


This debate is now closed. Here is a selection of your views below.

I saw Kill Bill 2 last night and, just like the first section, this one blew me away. Tarantino seems to cater to both the visual and audial senses of the viewers, from the amazing soundtrack and the sound effects like the "singing" sword, to the amazing camerawork and excellent effects. I personally can't understand how people can say that one half was better than the other, being as they make a whole. I can't wait until I can see them both as one!
Craig Stuart Waggett, Montréal, Canada

hile I generally do not watch slash or horror films, it was the story of the Bride that kept me in the theatre watching Kill Bill I. I want to know what happens to her, so I will go see Vol. II. What I'd really like to see Tarantino do, though, is bring back Madsen and Travolta and tie up the ends between Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Carradine thrown in as the eldest brother would be a nice touch, too.
Devon Adrian, California, USA

Kill Bill Vol.2 is very different from the first film in that it has much more character development and much less blood. Vol.2 replaces, for the most part, the bloodiness of the first film with character development and suspense and oh yes, style, lots and lots of style. Parts of this film are brilliant cinematic achievement with Tarantino having his audience mesmerized and dazzled. This film is a must see for anyone who loves a good story, well acted by a great cast and written by a modern day cinematic genius.
Michael Mazzola, Boston, MA., USA

I have always been wary of Quentin Tarantino, and thought him a talented filmmaker whose first films were terribly overrated. I am one of the few people among my friends, for example, who disliked Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs. When I saw Kill Bill Vol. 1 several months back, I found myself warily enjoying it. And last night, after having seen the conclusion, I was absolutely thrilled by it. A reviewer from the Boston Globe encapsulated exactly how I felt: "... the best time I've had at the movies in ages."
Michael, San Francisco, USA

I find it most fair to view Kill Bill as one four-hour body of work split into two out of necessity, rather than two separate films. Part one has no ending, and part two has no beginning, making it unfair to review them as individual, dramaturgically coherent films. I wasn't too happy about part 1, but now that I've seen part 2, the two actually come together to form one pretty cool film ¿ Not brilliant or original enough to meet the extremely high expectations facing Tarantino, but stylish, sometimes clever and often very engageing.
Johnny Nansen, London UK

Just saw Kill Bill 2 yesterday... absolutely stunning, and it fits in very well with the first volume. It's a shame Weinstein at Miramax decided to chop it in half, and doubly shameful that Q agreed. That said, I loved the scenes with Gordon Liu (already I was imagining a "Kung Pow" style parody, but the scene is so much a parody of itself) and the graveyard scene was as frightening as anything in any horror flick. They say there's moments of hilarity but I laughed all the way through as I caught glimpses of homages to other films, the Bronson poster, camera angles, product placements, etc. not to mention Tarantino's trademark dialogue. I also get the impression that while Hattori Hanzo is a master sword maker, his sushi sucks. Overall, a great film and a worthy addition to Tarantino's overall work.
Rick Vaughn, Saipan, Northern Marianas

Kill Bill Vol. 2 is completely sweet and totally worth seeing. And I was also someone who didn't really like Vol. 1 all that much. Vol. 2 is more in line with what i like about Tarrantino. Cool dialouge, an ability to mix tension, comedy, action and drama all in one scene. The characters are great, the surprises unexpected, the pacing just right, and the cinematography is pure gold. It's not Pulp Fiction, but it's pretty flawless just the same.
Andrew Ault, San Francisco, CA USA

What are you people talking about (Messers Dowrick and Warbrick)? Tarantino is a legend. Saying that Pulp Fiction is a shoddy offering is blasphemous to say the least. Am I hinting Pulp Fiction is Godlike? Yes. Kill Bill was amazing, Vol 2 is gonna be better
Lee, Bolton, England

Kill Bill Volume 1 is yet another film for sub-anthropoid morons - revenge movies create their own type of followers... thrills perhaps, spills for sure, but just another false waste of creativity and an insult to the humanity the world says it seeks and to people with any kind of world vision. A good soundtrack does not make a film good. For intelligent action with thrills and humanity too look to France.
Rob Tootell, Alton, Hampshire

I just saw Kill Bill 2 and I loved it. The witty, yet sometimes absurd, dialogue was especially entertaining. Definitely better than Kill Bill 1, although not nearly as much action for those of you who liked the fight scenes. Uma Thurman and David Carradine really sparkled in the film. Even if you didn't like Kill Bill 1, Kill Bill 2 is different enough to offer something new. Definately worth the time to find out.
Lisa Taylor-Olsen, Phoenix, Arizona

I found the second instalment of Kill Bill to be a completely different film from the original, that turned the main characters from caricatures to human. In this regard, Tarantino has given his viewers, his actors, and himself, something to be very happy with as the culmination of his years of work.
Anne, Montreal, Canada

This was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. What a disappoint as a Taratino fan. It was tempting to leave the theatre because it was so awful. Don't waste your money.
Bekke Mapes, San Antonio, USA

I just saw the second instalment and it was wonderful. The actors all portrayed their characters well and the camara work is fantastic. It is worth the money to see it.
Stephanie, Colorado Springs, United States

With the second part only around the corner I am positively going spare with anticipation. What do people expect from films these days? A little too much.

The first part set the scene with a tongue firmly in cheek and although it did seem very indulgent with the 70s chop-socky nature, what is wrong with a bit of light, albeit violent entertainment? I lap it up with my brain left at home. Here's to part two and I cannot wait to see what is held in store.
Nick Davies, Sutton, Surrey

I went to see Kill Bill Vol 1, in New York, and expected as a girl to be bored to death by the martial arts, and totally ridiculous stunts. However, it totally blew me away. I was entranced from the opening credits. It just shows that you have to take films a lot less seriously than we seem to like to these days, and just watch movie makers be as creative as they possibly can. I have been biting my nails for the second instalment for five months, I cannot wait.
Suzanne French, Rugeley, Staffs

This is well worth your money. I went to see both films on Friday evening and was thoroughly entertained with a terrific yarn. Tarantino has a rare ability to take things from all sorts of films but put his own personal stamp on it.

Having said that, it is not the greatest film ever made or even the film of the year. No need for hype - just go and enjoy it for what it is.
Simon Gleave, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Vol 1 was a great movie and will rank up there with the best in years to come, Vol 2 I hope will follow in its foot steps , and when they get round to finishing Vol 3 who knows what is in store: five stars a must see moive
Marc Trowsdale, Camberley, Surrey

Yesterday I saw Kill Bill I & II in a Kill Bill Marathon, the best way to see it as it turned out. I was impressed by the mix of different film genres, the movie is a western, martial arts movie, yakuza movie, love story, film noir in one. Part II offers more dialogue than part two, and gives a bit more depth to the characters, but the story stays pretty straightforward, no suprises. The scenes with Pei Mei are hilarious, not so much a hommage but a rather a parody of the martial arts genre, including the ridiculous zoom-ins! Also watch out for Go Go, an insane underaged Japanese schoolgirl, well performed by Chiaki Kuriyama. Relax as Tarantino takes you on a tour through filmhistory and style. A must-see for filmfans.
Sebastiaan Pouyet, Groningen, the Netherlands

I didn't care for Volume 1 and still see it as an over-rated non-event. However, I do have friends in the US who feel the same way as me and they went to see Volume 2 this weekend. They all agree this is one of the best movies of the year so far and puts right what Volume 1 did wrong. It just reinforces the idea that in this day and age of 3.5-hour running times, Tarantino should never have split the movie. That way he might not have divided his fans.
Stuart Wood, Dundee, UK

Kill Bill thrills, Kill Bill II thrills double. Both a great films using parody and humour and mixing it with stylised violence. Like Fargo, Oh Brother..., Pulp Fiction and many other a great bit of artistic but not art house film-making.
Adam Houlding, United Kingdom

I went to a press screening of Kill Bill Vol 2 this week, it was the best film I have seen for a long time. A lot more character orientated, clever dialogue, a completely different feel to the first film. More South America than Japan. In my opinion, Tarantino's best work so far.
Dan Hodgett, Nottingham, UK

Tarantino shows his brilliance yet again, Vol 1 was fantastic and Vol 2 the perfect ending. Even though he really only makes a film whenever he feels the need too, I'm sure that as any filmgoer will appreciate it is always worth the wait.
Andy Dailly, Edinburgh

After seeing Kill Bill Vol 1, I was somewhat disappointed. All but the action sequences seemed rather dull and linear, despite the original direction. Kill Bill Vol 2 however is much more impressive and entertaining throughout, even outside the well crafted combat scenes.
Simon, Gloucester UK

Fantastic! The elephant jokes alone made it worth watching. Well done Tarantino, another cracking film.
Bob, London, UK

Tarantino should stop making films, this is the biggest load of rubbish since The Matrix: Reloaded and ranks with up there with other shoddy offerings like Fargo and Pulp Fiction. stay clear.
Robert Dowrick, Preston

Are you guys kidding with this review? I went to see the first episode, not long after having seen the first Matrix sequel and felt equally duped by both of them. Expecting a clever, perhaps witty piece of Tarantino, Kill Bill 1 was just crap, with a wee bit of interesting animation thrown in. What happened to his ability to write dialogue? We here about how he's always been obsessed with old, low budget westerns and martial arts films - with Kill Bill he's just gone ahead and made one, but with a huge budget...why bother. We need another young director who can break the rules as he used to himself.
William Warbrick, London UK

I haven't seen the first film and its out on DVD on Monday.... then Volume 2 at the end of the week..... as a Tarantino fan - I am in heaven - can't wait.
Paul Byrne, United Kingdom




SEE ALSO:
The verdict on Kill Bill
14 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Tarantino: Return of the movie maverick
02 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
When a cult film's not a cult film
17 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Tarantino executes box office coup
13 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Kill Bill 'took 10 years to develop'
07 Oct 03  |  Entertainment


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