It’s lucky that Quentin Tarantino doesn’t consider the first and second volumes of Kill Bill as separate movies, otherwise he’d have retired after Once Upon a Time in Hollywood having constantly reiterated his desire to step away from directing feature films once he makes it to number ten.
The six-year gap between Jackie Brown and Uma Thurman’s debut as The Bride is also the longest we’ve had to wait between new Tarantino films since he first exploded onto the scene almost 30 years ago with Reservoir Dogs, but it was definitely worth it. Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 tell two halves of the same story, but they’re completely different from a tonal and aesthetic standpoint, to the extent that splitting the saga in half was probably a better idea than making such a jarring shift halfway through a four-hour epic.
The first installment is an all guns blazing ode to Tarantino’s love of classic Hong Kong and Samurai cinema, complete with a cameo from the legendary Sonny Chiba and an incredible extended sequence that sees The Bride slice and dice her way through as much of the Crazy 88 as possible. Vol. 2 takes things down a more solemn path, incorporating elements of the neo-Western, family drama and old school revenge thriller, but still packs a hell of a punch.
Kill Bill Vol. 1 now finds itself enjoying a whole new lease of life on Netflix, having rocketed up the most-watched list over the last few days. The gloriously violent and relentlessly exciting martial arts actioner is currently the eleventh most popular movie on the platform around the world, so it’s no coincidence that Vol. 2 has itself risen a remarkable 57 places as subscribers complete the double header.