Better than the first one, because it wasn't just non-stop fight scenes. Still, watching them both in one sitting like I did is an exercise in masochism for someone who doesn't like violence/action films. I probably never would have watched it if it hadn't been shown on Mubi. It would be refreshing to me to see this much money($60 Million budget?), time and top name actors, director, spent on an erotic/sex/porn film.
The more sombre, introspective side of the Kill Bill diptych is also one of Tarantino's most mature works. While Vol.1 provided the pyrotechnics, assaulting the senses of the audience with appropriated sequences ripped from the vast spectrum of post-war revenge cinema, Vol.2 offers a space for reflection. As such it can seem anticlimactic, but I think it's necessary in giving context to the film's study on violence.
'...I roared. And I rampaged. And I got bloody satisfaction. I've killed a hell of a lot of people to get to this point, but I have only one more....I am gonna kill Bill...' Volume 2 continues to fire all cylinders as the revenge continues; this multi-genre homage references spaghetti westerns, kung fu classics, film noir and hell even 'The Searchers' in its epic tale of payback. Carradine adds his swan song.
The black mamba, the scenes with Pai Mei, the flashback in b&w, Uma Thurman. Unfortunately, the last 30 minutes between Uma and Carradine are flawed because Tarantino took up his bad habits : long and empty dialogues without any empathy. It's crystal clear Tarantino never felt once in his life the feelings his characters are supposed to have.
Sure, it rambles and stutters since it's a Tarantino picture. And his dialogue is still showy often, but it isn't as irritating as his first two films since it tries for character more often, even if he still needs an editor. Tarantino is always a much better director than a writer. This shows in all the scenes here that just drone-on rather than stimulate or arouse when compared to the fun action scenes that shine.
I just realized that the scene where The bride gauges Elle's eye and then steps on it is very similar to that in King Lear where Cornwall gauges Gloucester's eye and then steps on it. but it might be a coincidence
My favorite of the two volumes. Carradine was absolutely magnetic. He embodied and paid off every bit of anticipation I had for the character. So cool. So deadly. Uma Thurman has never been more bad ass or stunningly beautiful.