Quentin Tarantino. Release Date: April 16, 2004. DVD Release Date: August 10, 2004.
I'm going to start this with a simple statement. I'm not a Tarantino fan. I find his work overdone and overhyped, which ends with me feeling a little exhausted after I watch most of his movies. Not exhausted in that way that follows a good workout, or a fun day outdoors, but the kind of exhausted that happens in the wake of too many days with not enough sleep. When From Dusk Till Dawn was sweeping my fraternity house, I was left wondering why people were interested. I figured it was the graphic violence and maybe the nudity, but it wasn't all that appealing. Over the years, there have been a couple of exceptions: Inglorious Basterds, because lets face it, that movie was awesome. Had it been released a few years earlier, there's no way I couldn't see it taking home the Best Picture Oscar. I also feel like it didn't quite get the notoriety it deserved, but that's just me. Kill Bill, both volumes, make up the only other films of Tarantino's that I've really enjoyed.
I've never seen a movie like Kill Bill. When that song came out, I not only didn't realize there was an entire genre of samurai films to watch, I had no idea who Kurosawa was. I've since rectified both of those lapses. But, it isn't the combat and the spouting blood that makes it unique in my mind. Kill Bill, Volume 2 isn't a sequel. It completes the story that is started in Volume 1 in a way that no sequel could manage to pull off. I've seen other movies that were handled similarly, but not many. When Clue was in theaters, you got to pick showtimes for ending A, B, or C. To get the whole picture, you needed to see all three, or wait until it came out on VHS. Both of these formats would have annoyed me to no small end if it were a television series.
My interest doesn't end at the formatting of the film. I love the rich characters and their interrelationships... some of which aren't entirely explained when this film ends the duet. I love that revenge spurs on The Bride beyond all other things. Whoever said revenge was a dish best served cold hadn't even begun to understand the process. She is brutally single-minded in her pursuit of Bill and manages to kill off everyone in her way in a ruthlessly bloody manner.
Whether you love samurai films, violent action movies, or steely dramas, this movie is going to have something to keep your interest. Seeing Volume 1 makes this go down a little more smoothly, but I think it's easily digested and enjoyed as a standalone project.