Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Although Quentin Tarantino views Kill Bill to be one singular movie, many disagree and consider them to be two separate films, like myself…or do I? Either way, when compared together the two volumes feel as if they were always intended to be two separate films, due to the stylistic changes. Tarantino leaves nothing on the table with Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), but leaves most of the violence and action in the first volume. Giving more insight and a backstory to the Bride (Uma Thurman) Tarantino explores what started it all—the wedding. As seen in the previous film, the Bride is brutally attacked by the Deadly Vipers Assassination Squad, under command of their leader, Bill (David Carradine). Although Bill shoots the Bride in the head, she surprisingly survives after enduring a four-year coma and wakes up ready for revenge. Blah Blah Blah…we should know the story by now. Anyway, the Bride hunts down and kills half the squad in Vol. 1, and then Vol. 2 shows the encounters of the second half of the squad, including Bill.
Taking a much slower approach, Vol. 2 offers much more depth and explanation than Vol.1. We learn why Bill assigned his squad to assassinate the Bride in the first place, we observe him regret and the internal battle of his brutal decision, and we finally get to witness the young, living daughter of the Bride; all things that Tarantino uses to tie up the story. With that in mind, the ending of Kill Bill Vol. 2 still feels somewhat anticlimactic. Now after two movies of struggle, battle, and bloodshed, Bill ends up dying in the least barbaric way out of the other squad members.
First, we see Bill’s brother, Budd (Michael Madsen) bamboozled by another Viper member, Elle (Daryl Hannah) who sports an eye patch who ends up tricking Budd into making a $1 million deal over the Bride’s sword, which he obtains after burying the Bride alive (we will get that in a second). Elle ends up killing Budd with a poisonous Black Mamba snake when he opens the case full of money. Next, we see the Bride and Elle engage in a bloody duel that ends in the Bride ripping out Elle’s only eyeball. Also, as stated before we see the bride BURIED ALIVE! When the Bride previously ambushed Budd, he ends up blasting a shotgun round of rock salt into her chest, sedating her, sealing her inside a coffin, and burying her alive. Yes, I know it’s a lot, right? If you are super claustrophobic, I DO NOT recommend this sequence, but for the rest of us… it’s freaking amazing. Tarantino goes between aspect ratios and uses change in color by using black and white film in certain parts. He even abruptly cuts to a black screen when the coffin is nailed shut, and the viewers see nothing for over an entire minute (which is longer than it seems) as all you hear is the Bride heavily panting in distress, and the digging of a shovel as Budd and his buddy throw loads of dirt, covering the coffin. It is an unreal viewing experience, and is what we are used to from seeing in Vol. 1, something Tarantino trained us to not only expect but to enjoy with these two films. And SPOILER ALERT, after all of this, we see the Bride kill Bill in the simplest of ways in the film—the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. This death blow technique was taught to the Bride by the legendary martial arts master, Pai Mei, whom Bill originally took the Bride to for simple training.
Kill Bill Vol. 2 solves a lot of unanswered questions, that Vol. 1 did not. Although Tarantino intends for the two films to be pieced together, both volumes are entirely unique. While both are extremely entraining, Vol. 1 relies on stylish action sequences, with complex camera work, set design, and use of blood, which Tarantino teaches his audience to love. Vol. 2 relies more on stylish dialogue and cinematic language of film, which can often be seen as slow and dragged out. Both being respectable standalone films, but when placed together you cannot help but compare the two and choose which is your favorite.
Story/Plot – 18/20 Direction – 19/20 Acting - 17/20
Cinematography – 19/20 Score/Soundtrack – 16/20
The Founder of @HennionProductions,