Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004): A Reason to Live

Kill Bill

“Kill Bill Vol. 2” completes the Bride’s rampage and ends with her confronting Bill and the fallout from all she has been through. The three assassins who are the targets this time are Budd (Bill’s brother) Elle and Bill. This was my second time seeing it and my assessment of it in relationship to “Vol. 1,” is that it is the weaker story (still great) but with some great moments of payoff.

Here is the assessment:

Pros: Music – Is still great, but “Vol. 1” has the better soundtrack, especially the music during “Chapter 5: Showdown at House of Blue Leaves.” The music is solid though and enjoyable to listen too.

The Script – Tarantino’s wit is still greatly in play with his salutes to Kung Fu, Western’s and at the beginning even a bit of a Noir retelling of what went down at the Two Pines. The confrontation with another assassin while she is pregnant and advocating for her unborn child is a powerful scene too.

The character – Are solid with Bill, the Bride, Elle and Budd getting the most exploration. Most of them have changed in some way and grown, except Elle who loves to be bad for the sake of being bad.

The cinematography – The bride climbing out of her grave and the black and white flashback at the beginning are worth mentioning as great moments of cinematography this Volume.

Chapter 6: Massacre at Two Pines – The flashback starts out strange with the Bride telling us the story, but it pickups when we got to her reception and see what connections are real (friends, husband?) and fake (in-laws) and of course the X factor (Bill). We know that the child is Bill’s due to “Vol. 1,” and we see more of the master and apprentice dynamic before Bill betrays her.

Final Chapter: Face to Face – This is where we see Bill’s attempts to mess with Bill and the Bride’s daughter’s mind and his justifying his evil to their daughter. It is terrible, which makes the Bride’s revenge at the end all that more rewarding.

The moments of Revenge and Victory: Taking out Elle’s other eye, breaking out of the grave she was buried alive in (by using what she learned from Pai Mei) and taking out Bill (again using what Pai Mei had taught her completing her arc as the new master). These made up for some of the weaker moments in okay chapters.

The fallout – At one point the Bride is crying on the floor after she has saved her daughter. It is here where all the monstrous things have really come to the forefront and her finally having to live…which she does as we see when she goes out and talks to her daughter. It captures the bittersweet of all that went down. The bitterness of all that was done to her and the betrayal and the sweetness of revenge and being able to move forward and live.

Okay – The rest of the chapters are alright. The training sequence isn’t really memorable beyond the montage afterword and her learning how to use her entire body (both hands) to eat rather than eating with her hands.

Cons – Like the first one it drags at times, but it is more obvious since the music, script and scenes aren’t as great as “Vol. 1,” with a few exceptions here and there.

“Kill Bill Vol. 2,” accomplishes what it needs to in regards to the Bride becoming the Master and finding her daughter and getting revenge. In the end she finds a reason to live beyond revenge, her daughter and this is powerful.

The pros and cons are much stronger in this Volume because it is the conclusion. Because of how it lags and the fact that some of the chapters just weren’t as well written and executed as the first Volume which is by the superior volume. It has a great payoff though and in the next article I will judge both volumes as a whole. In regards to “Kill Bill.”

For these reasons I would give this an 8.5 / 10.

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