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Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)

June 5, 2009

8/10 Broken Hearts

Not as action-packed as Kill Bill: Volume 1, but it’s still the best of the series.

In Kill Bill: Volume 2, The Bride has taken out two of her former co-assassins and is now out to finish the rest of ’em off, get her daughter back, and while she’s at it, maybe even kill Bill. Sounds good to me.

Whereas Kill Bill: Volume 1 plays out as a kind of homage to Asian revenge movies, Volume 2 is a lot more like a modern-day Western with swords. It helps that the first one takes place in Japan and the second one takes place in the wild West, but the pacing and tone of both films are really what set them apart.

Volume 1 is a very in-your-face movie that has the pacing of a cheetah on speed. And while Volume 2 has the best action scene of both films (a sword fight in an RV between Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah), it really slows down the pace from the first movie in order to really focus on the relationships amongst the characters involved and the driving forces behind them. The storytelling is very brooding in comparison and more often than not Tarantino opts for lengthy dialogue instead of a sword to the face. Most of the time it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but altogether it succeeds as a more meditative kind of departure from the insanity of Volume 1.

So if you’re going into this expecting an even crazier version of Volume 1, you might be disappointed. But if you go into Volume 2 with the mindset that it’s an altogether separate movie instead of taking it as a boring version of Volume 1, there’s a lot here to appreciate.

This movie can get long winded at times and the dialogue isn’t as sharp as past Tarantino efforts, but it has a lot more depth and credibility to it as both a drama and an action movie than Volume 1 does. The acting is better, David Carradine is great as Bill, it has a better script, and like I said, it’s just an altogether better movie.

Kill Bill: Volume 1 is the movie equivalent of a thrill ride. Kill Bill: Volume 2 doesn’t have that same kind of non-stop intensity, but it makes up for it in other ways. They’re both very different experiences, but I guess it all really depends on the kind of mood you’re in.

Whatever. Just watch ’em both.

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