Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004) 4.47/5 (4)


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Rating: The Good – 85.3
Genre: Action
Duration: 137 mins
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen

The second installment in the story of the Bride’s quest for revenge against the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad who left her for dead four years earlier is a very different animal to the first film in pace, style, focus, and even the genres it reinvents. And these are only four of many reasons why Quentin Tarantino was right to tell the story over two volumes. Much more dialogue driven than Vol. 1, we learn a lot more about the primary characters that feature in this volume including the Bride and we also get to see Bill himself (in a career best performance by David Carradine). Thus, the acting comes to the fore here and Carradine, Daryl Hannah, and Michael Madsen don’t disappoint as they give us some of the most unique action villains that have ever graced the silver screen. As in Vol. 1, there is an array of fascinating secondary characters populating the background to this story who together with the actors who play them (e.g., Gordon Lui, Michael Parks, and Carradine himself) represent a knowing and sometimes audacious nod to the genres that Kill Bill is exploring. For example, the old Shaw Bros. super villain (quite possibly the best in the genre’s illustrious history), Pai Mei emerges in stupendous fashion with a show stealing performance by Lui. These characters are largely responsible for the funnier moments (of which their are plenty) with Bud’s boss Larry (Larry Bishop) being a particular highlight. Although, the action takes a back seat to the dialogue in Kill Bill Vol. 2, there are no fewer than three sublime action sequences, the first being the best martial arts training sequence since The 36th Chamber of the Shaolin and the last (the ultimate showdown between the Bride and Bill) being the swiftest and most explosive duel since Sanjuro. File under cinematic masterclass.

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