Kill Bill Volume 2 movie review, Quentin Tarantino, Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Michael Madsen, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah. Review by Rob Blackwelder ©SPLICEDwire
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A scene from 'Kill Bill: Volume 2'
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***1/2 stars
136 minutes | Rated: R
WIDE: Friday, April 16, 2004
Written & directed by Quentin Tarantino

Starring Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Sonny Chiba, Michael Jai White, Samuel L. Jackson, Gordon Liu, Chiaki Kuriyama, Caitlin Keats, Julie Dreyfus, Shana Stein, Bo Svenson, Chris Nelson, Quentin Tarantino (voice)

This film is on the Best of 2004 list.


Don't even bother if you're not going to get it in letterbox. This film is a visual feast and chopping off the sides of the image would just be an insult.

   VIDEO RELEASE: 08.10.2004
The only major feature here is a standard making-of that gives away the best scene in the movie's climax. But it also acknowledges the vast differences between the two volumes, with Tarantino talking about the critical reaction to Vol. 1 and how some saw it as growth cinematically and others (like myself) disappointed that it didn't have his trademark surprising depth. Overall, it's worth a look.

But the best supplement is a great deleted fight scene with David Carradine calmly kicking butt in a chinese back alley.

10m of Robert Rodriguez's band playing the premiere party, but that's it because Miramax once again hasn't learned to provide trailers on their DVDs like every other studio.

5.1 Dolby Surround or DTS, 2.35:1 aspect ratio
Both are perfectly mastered.

RATIO: 2.35:1 (16x9 enhanced)
DUBS: French
SUBS: English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean


  ('03) "Kill Bill: Volume 1"
  • Revenge-fuel crime flicks
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Uma Thurman
  • Michael Madsen
  • Daryl Hannah
  • Lucy Liu
  • Vivica A. Fox
  • Samuel L Jackson
  • Americans-in-Japan movies...
    ('03) "The Last Samurai"
    ('03) "Lost In Translation"

     LINKS for this film
    Official site
    at Rotten Tomatoes
    at Internet Movie Database
    Watch the trailer

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    Profoundly different and much deeper, 'Kill Bill 2' raises the whole revenge saga to the level of genius

    By Rob Blackwelder

    Everything the kinetic, colorful, superficially violent "Kill Bill: Volume 1" lacked in depth and character is remedied tenfold in Quentin Tarantino's stunning, cunning conclusion to his epic revenge fantasy.

    Gone are the absurdist bloodbaths and the superficial grindhouse storytelling, and in their stead the wily writer-director transitions (with masterfully effortless cinematic aplomb) into a character- and dialogue-driven feast of substance and surprises -- which is, nonetheless, still punctuated by spectacularly stylish swordplay.

    After a winking mock-noir prologue of recap narration, Tarantino opens "Volume 2" with a parched black-and-white flashback to the wedding rehearsal (glimpsed throughout last year's installment) at which The Bride (Uma Thurman), an unnamed and incognito former assassin trying to go straight, was brutally gunned down (along with everyone in attendance) by her former compatriots.

    In this scene alone, there is more disturbingly calm import and essence than in all of "Volume 1," as Bill (David Carradine), the titular former boss and lover of the now-pregnant Bride turns up to wish her well in a lingering, visually imaginative reunion of outward composure and inward trepidation.

    As The Bride begins to let down her guard under Bill's velvety-voice reassurance, the tension in this moment becomes inversely tremendous because we've seen what's coming. In the story's first installment Thurman has awakened from a coma six years after being left for dead in the mayhem that we're about to witness. But in a signal of his unexpected shift in tone, Tarantino pulls away in a crane shot as Bill's four remaining killers-for-hire enter the dusty West Texas church slinging machine guns.

    The film then picks up where "Volume 1" left off: The vengeful Bride has slain two of those now-retired assassins (suburban mom Vivica A. Fox and deceptively delicate Yakuza mob boss Lucy Liu) in blood-soaked battles, and now she's gunning for the remaining pair as she beats a corpse-littered path to Bill's door.

    Before it's over, she'll be shot-gunned in the chest with rock salt and buried alive by vindictive but melancholy and seemingly resigned-to-die Michael Madsen in a scene that makes chilling use of pitch blackness and 5.1 Dolby sound, and she'll be confronted with her own custom-made katana sword by psychotic, one-eyed Daryl Hannah in a close-quarters duel royale that literally tears down the walls of a trailer home in the desert.

    Tarantino inter-cuts it all with character-rich scenes from The Bride's past, including her rigorous training at the wispy-white-beard-stroking hands of a merciless, 1,000-year-old, monastery-living martial arts master (Gordon Liu) straight out of a samurai movie.

    These plot-entwining episodes have a style all their own, with grainy, oversaturated photography peppered with silly kung-fu-movie zooms, and the backstory they provide is part of the deliberate dichotomy of exploitation and depth between the two volumes of "Kill Bill." It's a difference so pronounced that I think it would be hard to watch the two films back-to-back -- and yet, in (retrospective) context most of the first half's inadequacies come out in the wash, revealing the whole of "Kill Bill" to be nothing short of 100-percent pure, trademarked Tarantino-brand genius.

    The director's dexterity is especially evident when he takes another spectacular and startling sharp turn toward thorny emotional complexity as The Bride finally does come face-to-face with Bill. Thanks to Tarantino's gift for deliciously effusive, accessibly esoteric, pop-whacko dialogue and Carradine's unexpectedly earthy, enlightened, calmly charismatic performance as the mass-murdering assassin squad kingpin, this psychologically-charged passage becomes as much of a showdown as any action set-piece that comes before it.

    If the completed "Kill Bill" has any Achilles' heel, it's that the stimulating astuteness of "Volume 2" raises the project's stock to the point that plot holes are harder to shrug off. Tarantino never explains why the other assassins wanted, with such vicious venom, to see The Bride "suffer to her last breath." I was expecting the backstory to reveal some double-cross -- but it never came. Neither does he realize how it lowers The Bride's credibility as a brilliant ex-assassin that she can't seem to get the drop on her opponents -- especially when they have a relatively easy time getting the drop on her. And say, just where does the girl keep getting all those new clothes, motorcycles and cars?

    But just as the unflappable Thurman unexpectedly reveals a plethora of pensive layers between of cold-blooded rage and re-awakened vulnerability over the course of the two films, "Kill Bill" also grows steadily in vitality and audacity as "Volume 2" builds to a climax that is at once comical, gripping, elegant and powerfully raw.

    The movie's most brilliant moment, however, comes a little earlier, and in another flashback as The Bride discovers that she's pregnant just before what should be another fight scene. The comedic tension of that ensuing episode may well rival Samuel L. Jackson's diner showdown with Tim Roth in "Pulp Fiction" as the ultimate example of Tarantino at the top of his wry, incisive game.

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