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The Bride (Uma Thurman) continues on her quest for revenge, having dispatched three of her five betrayers in Vol 1. Now she's after Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah), Budd (Michael Madsen) and last and biggest of all, Bill (David Carradine), who shot her and left her for dead at the altar - pregnant. Bill was her boss (and lover) in the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and the others her colleagues. She has to use all her training to try and beat the vicious enemies who are intent on burying her. Alive. And then The Bride discovers her baby, a girl, might have been saved, and could be alive, a toddler of about 4. How will this impact on her quest for revenge?

Review by Louise Keller:
The interesting thing about Quentin Tarantino is that you never really know what to expect, and in this regard, Kill Bill Vol. 2 will not disappoint. But don't expect a full-on repetition of frenetically choreographed action set pieces, because this time around, the focus is on the characters and why The Bride is intent to Kill Bill. In many ways it's decidedly more satisfying, with its eclectic mix of elements that constantly challenge.

Once again, the fusion of genres - namely Spaghetti Western and Asian martial arts action - takes us on a stimulating gallop, holding our interest through each of the chapters that divide the story, much like an old fashioned Saturday afternoon matinee. The film's effect is visceral, with music (from Ennio Moriconne, Quincy Jones and others) as the driver, and spectacular vistas and lonely outpost settings lingering like visual signposts.

There's no question that Tarantino's scripting is clever, giving just enough information in flashback at crucial points. This second chapter begins in black and white, taking us back to the isolated chapel just before the massacre takes place. 'I've never been nice my whole life, but I'll do my best to be sweet,' promises Bill to The Bride, as they meet on screen for the first time. 'Sweet' is a word that definitely does not belong in Bill's vocabulary. It's a riveting scene, and every word weighs heavily with an undercurrent of hidden meaning.

With David Carradine on screen to balance Uma Thurman's intense presence, it's as if we are watching two wild animals balancing on a precarious see-saw. There's plenty of tension as the see-saw wavers, and in the lead up to the much anticipated final confrontation between the two, there's a long road to be travelled. There are treats along the way, when we love to hate all the characters we meet - from Bill's younger brother Budd (Michael Madsen, terrific), Darryl Hannah's deadly, one-eyed blonde, and Gordon Liu's martial arts master, who twiddles with his long white beard like an ethereal storybook character. There's an art in creating such likeable villains, making each violent confrontation more satisfying. 'Gross,' spits Hannah's Elle, as brown liquid is thrown on her face, but that's not the only thing that's gross, when the two blondes fight like two cats on heat.

Kill Bill 2 is a Quentin Tarantino road movie, with each chapter bringing a new character or a fresh direction for us to follow. It's a blast of an escapist movie - a fitting conclusion to Tarantino's ultimate revenge movie, with a plot that never falls into the predictable, and keeping us breathless throughout.

And there's more on the DVD. Get ready to tap your toes, as guitars strum to the rousing music of Chingon, as they perform live at the Kill Bill 2 premiere. There's also an explosively violent deleted scene plus an entertaining 'making of' special, in which Tarantino, Thurman and Carradine talk about and review the entire project. 'First movie sets up mythology; now you get to know the characters,' says Tarantino.

Published September 16, 2004

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CAST: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Chia Hui Liu (as Gordon Liu), Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, Michael Parks, Bo Svenson, Samuel L. Jackson, Caitlin Keats, Chiaki Kuriyama, Lucy Liu, Chia Hui Liu, Sonny Chiba, Vivica A. Fox

DIRECTOR: Quentin Tarantino

SCRIPT: Quentin Tarantino, Uma Thurman

RUNNING TIME: 137 minutes

PRESENTATION: Widescreen; 2.35:1

SPECIAL FEATURES: The Making of Kill Bill Vol. 2; Chingon Performance from Kill Bill premiere; deleted scene


DVD RELEASE: September 15, 2004

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