I actually watched this movie like two days ago, but by the time my room-mate and I finished it, I was ready to go to bed cause I had to work the next day, and then the next day, I had class, and then went straight to work, and then by the time I got home, I was exhausted and once again ready for bed. I had today off though so I was finally able to give this review the time and care it deserved. While I’ve always considered the first Kill Bill a lesser Tarantino work, my first return to Kill Bill: Vol. 2 since I saw it for the second time when it finally came out on DVD, was as much fun, style, and dialogue it was the first time around.
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 picks up pretty much immediately after the first one left off, with The Bride on her way to kill the remaining three people on her list, Elle Driver (Darryl Hannah), Bud (Michael Madsen), and Bill (David Carradine). While the first film primarily played on the martial arts and kung fu genres (and this film still has its moments, especially with all things Pai Mei), this film almost feels like an intentional call-back to the best films of the spaghetti western genre, with a good mix of neo-westerns as well. Every scene involving Bill and Budd makes me almost expect to hear the main theme from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly start playing at any moment. And then out of nowhere, the final act of the film plays out like Tarantino’s sick, twisted take on a family drama, and it is glorious.
This entry into the series finally gives Keith Carradine’s Bill his little bit of screen-time, and just like John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, a career that had long been deemed dead was resurrected in an absolutely spectacular fashion (it’s a damn shame he committed suicide a couple years ago). The only supporting performance in one of Tarantino’s performances that was even remotely better than this one was Christophe Waltz in Inglourious Basterds. It was a power-house performance. His scenes with Uma Thurman in the film’s final moments are some of Tarantino’s best-written conversations. This film is chock-full of some really classic Tarantino-style dialogues. It is much, much slower than Kill Bill: Vol. 1, and I’ve always used this film as a litmus test for true Tarantino fans. If they’re not real fans, they prefer volume 1. If they’re real Tarantino fans, they know this one is much, much better.
After two films worth of revenge, dismemberment, and the five finger point exploding heart technique, the series comes to a very satisfying end. For the film series that introduced my Quentin Tarantino, I may have learned that they aren’t necessarily his masterpieces, but I still love the hell out of these movies. Quentin Tarantino is the undisputed master of the “genre picture”. If you want a loving send-up to all of the old B-style movies that you used to love as a kid, you don’t need to look any further than Quentin Tarantino, and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 will not disappoint.
Final Score: A-