The second part of the world’s worst titled film features more random violence, more lazy two-dimensional caricatures and more evidence that Quentin Tarantino got lucky in the 90s.
The cultural references that are a Tarantino signature here make you wish you were consuming some actual culture, rather than the product of a fanboy with access to film making equipment. With the mishmash of random sound effects and editing styles it borders on amateurish, like someone playing around on Window’s MovieMaker.
When re-watching this it occurred to me that I’ve seen both films a number of times, but still couldn’t really remember what happens in them (beyond the broad story). Thinking back to Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, I’m pretty sure I could quote them after one watch. That’s because they had electrifying dialogue in every scene to keep you interested, and when they were violent it was part of the film, and didn’t just seem like an excuse to get as much death as possible in.
The low point is probably a lengthy sequence where the Bride (Uma Thurman) trains with Pai Mei (Gordon Liu), a clichéd old Chinese martial arts expert in a cheap Poundland wig clearly played by someone 30 years younger than the character. It’s excruciating to watch. This is made all the worse by the fact they spend ages building up the character, with Bill (David Carradine) extensively describing his harsh teaching methods and ruthless temper to the Bride, only for him to turn out to look like something from a children’s movie. Let’s call it Karate Kiddow.
Tarantino doesn’t seem to like any of his characters, most of whom have few redeeming features. None is shown any compassion, nor shows any to anyone else, making it often quite an unpleasant experience to watch. What’s more, with its double feature length, everything is so drawn out that even things that might have been interesting in one film become boring when they’re stretched over twice the length.
Like part 1, this film has some great scenes in it – usually the ones where it opts for dialogue over a bloodbath – but like part 1 they are too few and far between to salvage the rest.