WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!! Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004) ***** Well, I guess I fucked up again, but more on that later. Just got back from seeing KILL BILL VOL. 2 and I've been dying to see it ever since I saw the first volume, which is one of my all-time favorite films. I'm pleased to say that Roger Ebert is correct- the second volume is so much better than the first. That's not to say the first volume is bad, mind you. But there were sequences in volume two that just stood out and made for boatloads of enjoyment. The story continues, as the film picks up where the last left off. Essentially, they are both the same movie, but split into two parts. However, volume two starts off with the Massacre at Two Pines, where Uma and her husband-to-be (not to mention a few of their friends) are "murdered." Well, her fiancee is actually dead, except she isn't. But you already knew that. I'm gonna save all the mumbo-jumbo so that you can go in fresh, as I did. That's one reason why I enjoyed the first volume so much, and why I loved this one a lot more. I knew practically nothing about it, besides the fact that she would finish off the rest of the assassins on her list, and finally get to "kill Bill." I had also heard that this was going to be more like a spaghetti western than an Asian martial arts flick, and while there are certainly some western aspects in the film, I didn't feel it strayed too far from the tone of the first film. Everything about this film is perfect, but then again the same could be said about the first volume. There's a lot more characterization in this one; more dialogue scenes so that you get to know the characters better. However, this is not a problem. Tarantino is a superb craftsman when it comes to dialogue, and it all comes out to be entertaining in the end (particularly David Carradine's life and death speech). And the best part of it is, it doesn't detract from the fighting scenes. There are still plenty to go around for those of you who only want to see this one because of the action in the first film. Tarantino's direction is top-notch here, even more so than the first volume. He makes great use of black and white photography and tricky camera angles. While the film is two hours and eight minutes long, it doesn't feel that way because the pace is so fast. There are grand sequences in this masterpiece, such as a flashback where The Bride learns the tricks of the trade from a master martial artist and a moment where she is buried alive deep within the ground, using the tricks she learned to escape. Everything comes together in this film, and I seriously doubt there are any plot holes to be found. The transition from the first film to the next is very smooth, and I have a feeling that anyone who enjoyed volume one will almost certainly enjoy volume two. It couldn't be more magnificent, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. This is Tarantino at the top of his game, and for that I consider him a God. And yes, I know I sound like a drooling fanboy (which I was attempting to avoid but it's inevitable), but what do you expect? I am a fan of the genre just as much as he is, and the homages he pays throughout the film are absolutely ingenius. When I first saw the scene with the Bride being buried underground, I immediately recalled the scene in Lucio Fulci's CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD where Catriona MacColl is in the same situation (albeit different circumstances, but that's not important). And I suppose that is exactly what Tarantino had in mind- the homages are there for fans of the genre who will gladly eat them up. Now, for the reason why I'm such a fuck-up. Blame the theater for having such large drinking options and damn my bladder for having to release itself at such an inappropriate moment. I was very upset when I just happened to notice, walking back to my seat, that I missed the whole purpose of these two films- the reason why they even exist. Yes folks, I missed the "killing of Bill." Laugh if you want to, because I deserve it. My friend who was sitting next to me told me, all the while laughing his ass off at my stupidity, what happened so I didn't really miss much in the scheme of things. But my point is, I missed the most important moment in the film. I'll just have to wait until it comes out on video to actually see it. So there you have it, my thoughts on this brilliant, brilliant, brilliant work of art from the best director working in the business today. If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and do it. And if you haven't seen the first volume yet, then drive down to Ballbuster and rent it out, then go and buy a ticket for the second volume. I promise that if you're even remotely interested, you'll eat the fucker right up.