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Kill Bill: Vol. 2

Revenge is a dish best served cold.  

Year: 2004 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Quentin Tarantino 
Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen  
An image from Kill Bill: Vol. 2

”Kill Bill Volume 2” is different from most sequels. Unlike most, it doesn’t fall flat in light of the previous film. Better than that, this film had to be shot; “Volume 1” was only ever half of the story and in this second dose Tarantino gives us the follow-up we were all hoping for, with more action, more character development and a full unravelling of the plot.

Beatrix Kiddo is back and she’s out to finish the job, her ultimate aim: to kill Bill. Fresh from her first two targets, her first aim is to have vengeance against the rest of the assassins that betrayed her four years earlier. It’s not going to be easy though, as in Budd and Elle, she has worthy opponents. What’s more, they know that she’s coming.

Will The Bride get to Bill, or will she be stopped in her tracks by those who shot her down before? What’s for sure is that this film does not disappoint one drop. If you’ve still got unanswered questions from the first instalment, then sit back and get ready for some answers, as well as a few surprises. The clever mix of flashbacks and order-shuffling will leave you hooked until the very last.

Whilst the first film focussed on the gore and extravagant fight scenes, “Volume 2” is a tribute to old Westerns, replacing (some of the) severed limbs and blood with tension, twists and Tarantino-esque dialogue. If you love his work then this is definitely one for you. If you’re sceptical, then the action and tension will win you over. Either way, Tarantino’s second offering of “Kill Bill” is one that you can watch again and again.

Robert Gardner

It might have been a while since you've seen Kill Bill Vol.1 and so forgotten some of the story, but luckily Quentin Tarantino recognises this and starts Vol.2 with a wonderful monologue from The Bride (Thurman) reiterating her mission. Furthermore, flashbacks are used throughout this film to show how events only mentioned previously, actually happened, including the vital moments leading to The Bride being shot at point-blank range, at the very beginning of Vol.1.

It turns out that the pregnant Bride and her entire wedding party were targeted at the wedding rehearsal by the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. During the rehearsal proceedings, The Bride steps out for a breath of fresh air, and runs into Bill (Carradine). Although their conversation never heats into an argument, there is an obvious sense of discomfort and Bill's dissatisfaction with the turn of events, and it's not long before his team of killers storm the chapel, killing all but The Bride.

Cut to the present and we follow The Bride as she sets to despatch the remaining members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad - Bill's brother Budd (Madsen), Elle Driver (Hannah) and Bill himself. Intersperse with more flashbacks, including a great martial arts training sequence with Pai Mei (Liu), and the relationship between The Bride and Bill begins to make more sense.

Whilst Kill Bill Vol.2 is not a sequel but a continuation of the blood-drenched Vol.1, there is a distinct shift in style, with more character development and dialogue. The Bride's quest is provided with more reasoning from the outset, and so offers a more fulfilling story. Kung-fu fans will not be disappointed though, there is some great one-on-one choreography and old- school style moves.

Casting and performances are top-notch all round, with a skilful display of difference between Carradine, Madsen and Lui - all dab-hands from the world of kung-fu movies. The two leading ladies, Hannah and Thurman, more than hold their own against the men. Thurman in particular displays a side of The Bride not encountered before, and shows with good reason why Tarantino holds such a high opinion of her.

A great conclusion to a great film, one that grows on you with each viewing - A must see!

Alex Coe

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Screenings of this film:

2004/2005 Autumn Term (35mm)
2004/2005 Autumn Term (35mm)
2008/2009 Spring Term (35mm)
2021/2022 Spring Term (35mm)