Anne’s note: I reviewed Kill Bill Vol. 1 yesterday and will most likely reference that review again here. It’s not completely necessary that you read the Vol. 1 review first, but it’s there if you want it.
Had I seen it before: No.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino, with another writing credit for Uma Thurman for writing the character The Bride (credited as U)
Where you can stream it now: Hulu (leaves on June 29) or Showtime
What IMDb says: The Bride continues her quest of vengeance against her former boss and lover Bill, the reclusive bouncer Budd, and the treacherous, one-eyed Elle.
Why I picked it: I’ve been meaning to watch the Kill Bill movies for a while and I learned they were leaving Hulu soon.
What I liked: This one gave me a lot of the storytelling I was missing in Vol. 1. There was more of the dark humor I expect from a Tarantino film. There were higher stakes at the end of the movie vs. the beginning. I really felt like I got more out of the action sequences because I had the context I needed to better understand why these characters so passionately hated each other in the first place. In Vol 1., the story is the same for virtually every fight we see: the Bride had her wedding massacred, and she’s out to kill the people who did that. Here, there were slightly different motives for the people fighting in each scene. As The Bride is having her showdown with Bill, we learn all sorts of new information to better understand why these two people are so intent on destroying each other. We see how the wedding massacre was just one piece of a much larger puzzle.
Hell, one of the most memorable scenes was one where The Bride wasn’t even onscreen. Watching a literal black mamba chase after Budd while another assassin narrated The Bride’s story was just as tense as most of the more traditional fight scenes. Not to mention the fact that the action sequences just felt more fun in part because they didn’t feel as constant. There’s something exciting about knowing those fight scenes are coming but not being entirely sure when. Vol. 1 didn’t really give me the same opportunity to anxiously anticipate action the way that Vol 2. did.
What I didn’t like: Perhaps this is my own fault for not paying as much attention as I should have, but I actually had to rewind a little bit to rewatch the **SPOILER ALERT** scene where she does in fact Kill Bill. I knew they kept talking about the Five Step Something Or Other Heartstopping Thingamajig for a while but because I perhaps didn’t pay close enough attention the scene earlier in the movie where this was explained, I didn’t know what to expect. I’m fairly confident this wouldn’t have been an issue had I seen the movie in a theater instead of in bed on a computer screen, so it’s really not that big a deal, and it won’t be an issue after I’ve seen the movie twice, so it’s barely even worth mentioning.
Will I watch it again: Now that I’ve seen both, I definitely think it would be of value to watching both back-to-back as though they’re one movie at some point. Outside of that, I don’t know that I’d watch it over and over again. (For the record, Kingsman: The Secret Service is still my go-to for a fun, over-the-top action movie craving.
Who would enjoy it: People who can’t get enough awesome action sequences.