Tarantino couldn’t have said it any better when he said that Kill Bill Vol.1 is the “kill, kill, kill”, while Volume 2 is the “Bill, Bill, Bill”, which is the number one reason why he made a good choice in splitting the flick up into two entities.
While Volume 1 pretty much was an action-packed gorefest, with the lack of a storyline, Volume 2 is the polar opposite, which some of you might find very disappointing. But true Tarantino fans would be proud of the second feature, for this truly is the “more” Tarantino of the two films.
This time the plot thickens, and the ‘Bride’ (whom finally reveals her true name) has more thrown in her face than you can ever imagine. First we are treated to the back story, how the events took place at the Church that day. Later when Bill finally meets his fate and comes nose to nose with the Bride, even more does Tarantino dive into the pasts of both of these colorful characters, which is one reason why you could call Volume 2 a better movie in a nutshell. In addition to the history lesson, the daughter is used as a tool. We all know that her daughter is alive and well, but the Bride does not, and like a Hitchcock film, letting us know creates a certain feeling of suspense. “What will happen when she finds out?” Tarantino has a great parallel inserted here; the story about how the Bride finds out she’s pregnant is almost the same as finding out that her daughter is alive – or is it? When the Bride finds out she’s pregnant, we find out her motivations in her life, and one may wonder if these motivations stay true when she finds out her daughter is alive. Tarantino also teases the mind with conversations about mans true calling, and how the Bride is a born killer, nothing more, nothing less, which intertwines perfectly with this dilemma of having a daughter. The story, which once seemed harmlessly simple, has become so thick; you could call it a triple thick milk shake.
Tarantino has the time; the film is somewhere around 2 hours and 7 minutes, which leaves plenty of time for conversation, considering the action scenes where very sparse. The most action you see is the long-awaited battle between Elle Driver and the Bride, which at one point appears like it may never happen. Unlike the first film, which is all finesse, Volume 2 is true grit- there’s Texas style spitting and crotch kicking everywhere. One reason I fell in love with Volume 1 was because of this finesse, and I really missed it in this film, but the mood isn’t meant to be exciting and fun. Volume 2 is a dark place, with dark pasts, dark futures, and dark souls- to use the word again- true grit.
My mind is running everywhere with this movie, and its hard to talk specifically about one thing without losing track of another, so I’d like to get back to the reason why this fight between Elle and the Bride almost never happened – Tarantino has put on film the absolute most intense buried alive scene ever assembled. They say pitch black on the screen, whether its TV or in the movies, is a mortal sin, and one of the number one way to lose your audience. But like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre trailer, the black screen created a sense of dread and claustrophobia; it made me feel like I knew what she was going through. Once she’s buried, the flashlight pops on and we are inside this small coffin, which is very uncomfortable to watch. But thanks to a great backstory and great character building by Tarantino, the escape from the coffin is believable within the realm of the movie.
I can go on and on about this flick, but the main point I want to get across is that the film is different from Volume 1 and is much more like a Tarantino film. Volume 2 is very dialogue heavy and the action is minimal, so you can’t really be disappointed. I’d say overall this is a way better movie, and I can see why some of the critics beat on Volume 1, but the fact of the matter is, I’d choose Volume 1 over Volume 2 any day of the week. I’d rather sit through the Crazy 88 battle over and over again than sit through this hearty dialogue flick. It’s hard to remember that this isn’t a sequel and that it’s only half the battle, I don’t think I can truly appreciate the genius that is Kill Bill until they are unified together into one glorious orgasmic experience.