release date: 14 April 2004 (Canada)
run time: 137 mins
considered: Action, Crime, Thriller
director: Quentin Tarantino
starring: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Julie Dreyfus, Chiaki Kuriyama, Shin’ichi Chiba, Chia-Hui Liu, Michael Perks, Michael Bowen, Jun Kunimura, Kenji Ohba, Yuki Kazamatsuri
movie summary: The Bride (Uma Thurman) has spent the last four years in a coma. When she woke up, she set out on a path of destruction that would take her around the world. Her hit list consists of the five members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and their leader, her ex-lover Bill (David Carradine). After making her way through the four lower level muscle of the Squad, she sets her sights on Bill who is sitting at his home waiting for his bride to be with a smile on his face. Hidden at his place Bill has been protecting a secret that will completely crush her and stop her dead in her tracks.
my thoughts: Alright I’m not going to sugar coat anything here with my review of Kill Bill Vol. 2, this movie sucked. Now hear me out before you break your keyboard by typing up an angry comment. Kill Bill Vol. 1 was jammed packed with action, bloodshed, and over the top ninja fight scenes. That was all great in the beginning but as the story of tracking and killing Bill hits the second act, most the wind had left the sails and this movie slowly floated into the finale.
You must be asking yourself how on earth did I not like this movie when it has 0.1 less star then the first one. Well the intro was interesting when they recap the wedding rehearsal and then the hit on The Bride again. That was great and all but we already know what happened from the first movie and seriously the only thing missing was a full recap of all the killings from the previous movie. I get that there is a tad bit more back story here with the revaluation of The Bride’s pregnancy and that a hit was put on her which forced her in retirement, but could have all been told in Part 1. This intro still had me interested in the movie and what’s going to happen at the end, but when she sets her sights on Bill’s Budd (Michael Madsen) I began to lose interest.
As The Bride sits outside of Budd’s trailer to scope out the place, we are provided with a flashback that was so slow and uninteresting to me that it really turned me off from the rest of the movie. The screen time the story spent on The Bride punching her fist through a piece of wood seemed to take an eternity and was not as exciting as her sword training from before. When Budd “kills” The Bride yet again, we get more wood punching screen time. It was really frustrating that this super woman who can survive numerous attempts on her life will now survive by getting bloody knuckles and breaking wood.
When The Bride returns from the dead again, she continues on her mission but doesn’t get to kill Budd because Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) beats her to it. The two engage in a vicious battle where The Bride comes out on top again. At this point the long movie is about half done with 45 mins devoted to wood punching and not a lot of violence. Just when I didn’t think things could get worse, The Bride, whose real name has now been said out loud, shows up at Bill’s house where the two spend the last hour of the movie having a chat. Yes, a chat. How on earth The Bride managed to hold back all her aggression is beyond me, because Bill killed her and had several other people try to kill her, yet just sits there and talks it out with Bill. She may ultimately get her revenge on Bill but a snail could have taken him out quicker then she did.
I was disappointed with Kill Bill Vol. 2 because the story of revenge is alive and well but the action takes a backseat to snail pace storytelling. There’s still plenty of bloodshed but those moments now take up about 5-10 minutes of this even longer movie. It’s hard for me to imagine I am watching the same psychotic revenge hungry woman tone it down so many levels. In my personal opinion Kill Bill Vol. 2 was a bad sequel for one heck of a movie in Kill Bill Vol. 1. I’ve asked a few of my friends on their thoughts of both movies and so far the majority have said the same thing; the first one is good and the second was so-so. I feel the same way as they do and would be willing to watch Kill Bill Vol. 1 again but would be hard pressed to watch the second movie ever again.
my final thoughts: All the violence and mayhem we have come to expect from The Bride and her quest for revenge dies down in Kill Bill Vol. 2. Fans of the lead character and the director will swear up and down this is still a fantastic movie even though it doesn’t hold a candle to the first installment. Once you figure out what Bill’s big secret is, it kinda ruins any other opportunities you may take to re watch this because it anti-climatic the first time and is bound to be even less the next time around.
my star rating: 4 out 10
imdb: 8.0 out 10
rottentomatoes: 84% out 100%
roger ebert: 4 out 4
richard crouse: n/a