Kill Bill Vol. 2 -- disappointments & quibbles (unboxed spoilers)

First – this thread, if it lives, will probably re-hash many points made when the film was first released. Since I hadn’t seen it then, I didn’t read those threads, so forgive me if I go over plowed ground.

I just saw this on DVD last night. I saw vol. 1 on DVD, and loved it much more than I thought I would-- I’m not a big martial arts fan, don’t particularly like violence & gore in movies. But I was dazzled by what Tarantino did, and eagerly awaited the DVD release of vol. 2.

I knew it was going to be different: more talking, less slicing. And I liked it, mostly, but here’s what I had a problem with:

  1. Budd. I’m not buying that Budd was ever a highly-skilled assassin; and he never displays any such skills in vol. 2–the only member of the DVAS who doesn’t have a fight scene. He acts like he’s always been a bouncer in a titty bar.

  2. Motivation. We finally find out why Bill shot up the wedding…and it’s because he’s a jilted lover? WTF??? I know he’s a ruthless killer, and he says he “overreacted”, but that doesn’t cut it with me.

  3. B.B. Anticipation without payoff. The existence and presence of BB has no bearing on the outcome whatsoever. When she appears on the scene, I thought it meant that Bill & Uma would have to resolve their differences some other way – but they wind up fighting to the death anyway, just like we thought they would. And the gunshots don’t even wake the kid up.

  4. More anticipation without payoff. Finding out Elle Driver lost her eye to a character who wasn’t in vol. 1 kind of dissipates the anticipation. And The Bride’s real name is “Beatrix Kiddo” – which would’ve been funny if anyone had called her “kiddo” in vol. 1. (I expect someone will point out that she was, repeatedly… :wink:

  5. So Uma can take out the entire Crazy 88 single-handed, but she gets bushwhacked by a hick with a shotgun? Disappointing.

  6. Setting. The entire movie (except the Pai Mei flashback) is set in an arid and featureless landscape.

  7. The character of Esteban Vihaio …inserted completely out of the blue, merely to serve as a road sign for the way to Bill.

I didn’t even like the soundtrack as much as vol. 1; nothing to compare with Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Santa Esmeralda), or that 3-chord thing used as O-ren’s theme (dah-DAH-dah…chickaboomchickaboom…)

YMMV. I look forward to your comments.

Given the fact that I was bored out of my mind by the pointless, endless, tiresome “action” of the first installment, I was gratified to have something more closely resembling real people with real emotions and real motivations in the second installment. QT dispensed with his preoccupation with coming across as “cool” which made the first film (IMHO) unbearable, and decided to have the characters have (relatively) interesting things to say to each other. There are actual emotional confrontations in V.2, instead of poseur bullshit stand-offs, and his style serves–instead of overwhelms–the story. I was genuinely surprised that a film I disliked so much could have a sequel I liked so much.

Obviously, YMDV.

Tarantino was going for an entire different atmosphere in this movie. Volume 1 was supposed to be his “eastern” film; Volume 2 was supposed to be his “western”. I think he did a good job following the different paces of the two genres within a single prolonged storyline.

The fight scenes reflected this difference. In the first volume they followed the eastern style - epic and literally fantastic, with individual duels of martial arts skills being a deciding factor. In the second volume, the fights were western - short and dirty, with the ability to outfox your opponent being the winner.

Overall, I think the biggest flaw of the movie was the final confrontation between Bill and the Bride. I can understand it’s traditional to have a scene where the two adversaries have a conversation and reveal their thoughts, but I think it was overdone in this instance.

And, yes, the Bride was in fact called “Kiddo” several times in the first movie.

Valid points, AG. My POV is that these characters aren’t very interesting as real people; they work better as action figures. I grew impatient with the conversations, and wanted to get the story moving again.

On a different note: I can’t picture how these films would’ve worked as a single film, as originally designed. They look & feel like two different films.

He has a different style. The other DVAs were definately more Eastern, whereas Budd had a dangerous outlaw of the west vibe going. Not subtle, but smart and with nothing to lose.

I bought this. People have been killed for far less, and besides, what a setup for the “overreacted” line. Bill is a bastard through and through a kill-ya-just-as-soon-as-look-at-ya kind of guy.

I found that BB’s appearance 1) adds emotional weight to her purpose: she needed to kill Bill before for vengence, with BB the purpose is elevated to protection. 2) Sets up the classic Tarantino awesome/inappropriate tension we love him for. 3) Is forshadowed when the Bride takes out Vivica Fox despite the fact that her daughter shows up.

I guess I never really expected the eye thing to pay off ever. To learn that it was Pai Mei who took it ads a pretty cool element to his character and also foreshadows that Kiddo has learned more from Pai Mei than we might expect as we learn when she finally dispatches Bill.

I don’t know about repeatedly but doesn’t Bill call her that in the very first moments of Volume 1?

I contend the Budd is not a mere hick.

I thought it fit with the more spaghetti western feel of Vol 2.

This was a little strange. Perhaps there is some homage being paid that we are just not aware of. It does fit with Tarantino’s habit of using extremely quirky throwaway characters (think of Christopher Walken’s watch story in Pulp Fiction)

The East/West vol.1/vol.2 dichotomy makes sense now that it’s been pointed out (do I hear a “well, duh…”). I think I just never liked spaghetti westerns very much.

Maybe I’m just thick for not figuring out how it was important, but I thought it was really dumb that the Bride made a big deal in the second movie out of saying that the wedding massacre wasn’t at a wedding…

It was a wedding rehearsal!

Oooooh, the shock, the awe, the…waitaminnit, that’s a stupid distinction to focus on. And it requires the addition of a stupid line explaining why everyone is wearing their wedding clothes.

She’s called “The Bride!” The whole point is that Bill came to kill her on her wedding day, and he’s a cold-blooded bastard! During the scene on the porch he even reveals that he had found her much earlier and presumably could have come for her earlier, but he didn’t. (Because he was waiting to do it dramatically.) Why on EARTH did Q.T. make it the massacre take place at the rehearsal in the second film? And then why make a big deal out of it?

Worst gotcha ever.

Ooh, good one, Jenny. Add it to my list.

Maybe QT felt that he needed an expository conversation between Bill and Beatrix before the massacre, and it would’ve been hard to insert it during the wedding, but easier during a wedding rehearsal. Or maybe he couldn’t explain why there were only 4 guests at a wedding.

Adds to my impression that there were a lot of reshoots & creative editing between vol. 1 and vol. 2, and makes it even harder to visualize it ever being one film.

I thought the Bill/Bride climax was the absolute worst. The first film and much of the second were so stylish and jumped into certain genres that it made it cool. Even the West/East thing was good. But the climax had the setting of what??? His home?? What genre was the whole climax scene going for? Eighties television drama ala Matlock? Let’s discuss our conflict in a living room? At least the house in Vol.1 looked and felt real and had the style of vibrant colors and fighting in close quarters bumping and banging off furniture.
And damn David Caradine’s lisp just bugged the hell out of me. It wasn’t even a cool character flaw. It just made him sound dumb and totally unbelievable as a bad guy. A lot like Mike Tyson’s babytalk.

The whole of Vol. 1 was great, Mai Pai and the desert scenes were great in Vol.2.
Just a really crappy end scene.

See the thing that really makes me crazy it that it could have been made so good, so easily.

Why not only have 4 guests at the wedding? Let’s seee: she’s left her entire identity behind no more than say seven months previously, and the groom is marrying a woman heavily pregnant with another man’s child. I wouldn’t have batted an eye at the smallness of the wedding. And the ‘if any man here’ bit in wedding vows just screams to be the part where Bill and The Bride go talk on the porch - maybe throw in a shot of everyone inside standing there awkwardly when they leave, not sure how to proceed. Maybe the best man mouths an “I told you so,” at the groom, who look indignant, and a little afraid - you know, give the guy a little character.

And then we could do the whole conversation, The Bride could tell Bill she’s made up her mind and walk back into the chapel, only to find that Bill was not reaching out to her but distracting her while her erstwhile comrades-in-arms sneak into the church and slit the throats of her entire wedding party. Cue music.
However, I have to give Tarantino credit for the most suspenseful sandwich-making ever.

I think it was like the first word of the movie, which is funny in it’s own way. It was something like

“well, kiddo, I imagine you’re pretty mad right about now.”

he calls her kiddo a couple of times in that speech.

I’m beginning to regret mentioning the “Kiddo” thing… :slight_smile:

Unless I really lost track of the setting and also misheard the dialog: Budd’s trailer was in El Paso, TX. Elle tells Bill that if wants to put flowers on the Bride’s grave, he should go to a cemetery in Barstow CA and look for Paula Schultz.

Barstow, CA is about 1000 miles from El Paso, TX.

I was rather dissapointed and confused as well. IMHO it was no where near as good as Vol.1. I was in awe of the things that happened in Vol.1, Vol.2 left me bored for the most part.
The whole Esteban scene was stupid. I couldn’t understand him at all, and still am wondering why that one girls face was all deformed.
There seemed to be alot of open parts in the movie that were started but left out alot of development to be interesting and make us want more. At least it had a happy ending.
and man that Pai Mei guy is an ass.

I’m listening to the credits of the movie as I post this and have to say that KB2 was awesome in a different way than KB1. It actually rounds out the characters and gives them a bit of life and something ‘normal’ people can relate to. I have a daughter just about B.B’s age and can tell you that I’d scour the ends of the earth to find her if I’d been done the way ‘The Bride’ was.

I’m just guessing that most people don’t realize that this started out as one movie and Tarantino(or the publishing company)…didn’t want this movie to run to long. As one movie, it’d play great…as two, it seems, most people have forgotten the whole reason for Uma’s revenge.


Her face was deformed because he deformed it. As he said earlier…“I’d have just cut you”(A quote from memory). What I gathered was that he was quite the evil man himself.
Pai Mei was an awesome tribute to the ‘old’ Kung Fu movies[/

Incidentally, Gordon Liu (who played Pai Mei) was also in the first Kill Bill - he played the leader of the Crazy 88’s.

It totally cuts it with me. He’s Bill. You don’t just walk out and leave Bill. And you certainly don’t play him for a sucker. Which is what she did when she left him.
I loved Vol 2. It was a completely different movie than Vol 1. Quieter, and I’m glad. I loved the frantic violence of Vol 1, but I think it would have been a mistake to keep up that pace. I’m going to buy Vol 2 this weekend and have a marathon.

The only problem I had with part two was that contrived drug thing Bill shoots The Bride with. Other than that, I thought it was every bit as good as the first one. Loved what happened to Elle.

I didn’t enjoy Vol II as much as Vol I. I think it had a lot to do with my expectations after the first film. I knew it was different and more talky, but I felt it just didn’t come together as well as it should have. I was expecting pulp fiction dialogue. No dice.

The two main sticking points with me were, as was already mentioned, the esteban scene. it just seemed so tacked on. It was like Tarintino suddenly realized that the Bride has no way of finding Bill, and decided to just throw is a character who magically had al of the answers. No rhyme or reason, just an easy out.

The second was the whole build up with the Brides name. It was blanked out in the first film and parts of the second. I was expecting a revelation when her name was finally revelled. Instead, I was left thinking “Oh. Okay then. Huh?”

Oh, one more thing. The way Uma rocket out of the ground when she was buried. What the hell? How deep was she buried? I thought this was a throw back to the spaghetti western? What was up with that? What happened to some semblance of realism? It would have fit in very well with the first movie, but it just felt so out of place in the second.

Final thing, I promise. How did Elle manage to kill Pei Mai? I mean this guy is an Ancient Master. He pulled out her eye. He knew the touch of death. He was one step away from being a god. And she manages to poison him? He was a cocky arrogant bastard, seemed to be several steps ahead of his trainees, and he gets killed by fish that Elle poisoned? That did not sit right with me.

Well, that’s all that I can think of right now. I have a feeling that I need to watch it a couple of more time to truly get into it. I think that it will prove to be my more favourite of the two in the long run. The first was flashy and exciting, but I think the second will prove to have the greater depth.


Are you saying spaghetti Westerns are supposed to be realistic? :dubious:

The only thing I can think is that he assumed that any student brought to him by Bill would have more honor than to resort to poison like that. Wether this is supposed to tell us more about Elle or Bill, I cannot say.