Two things are readily apparent about Kill Bill Volume 2. First, unlike its predecessor, this is a complete movie. It stands on its own. It is possible to see and enjoy Volume 2 in a way that was not true of Volume 1. Viewed in retrospect, the first installment now seems like an easily discarded prologue. The real meat is in Volume 2. Secondly, Quentin Tarantino needs a new editor - someone who can convince him to make the really hard cuts. Sally Menke, who has held that post for all of Tarantino's movies, couldn't/wouldn't/didn't convince the ego-centric filmmaker that eliminating about 30 minutes of filler from Kill Bill Volume 2 would have made it a leaner, meaner motion picture. The running time is 130 minutes; it should have been about 1:30.
Gripes about the needless length are not minor. There are too many scenes in this film that damage the pacing.
It feels bloated - as if the director, given the freedom afforded by lopping off 100 minutes and calling it Volume 1, could re-insert all sorts of material originally slated for the cutting room floor. (Do the math. If the original cut of Kill Bill was about 190 minutes, and the running times of the split parts are 108 minutes and 130 minutes respectively, that means Tarantino got an extra 40 minutes.) Rather than flowing smoothly, Kill Bill Volume 2 lurches from point-to-point, giving screen time to secondary characters who are neither colorful enough nor intriguing enough to warrant it. This is the case of a director having fallen too much in love with his material. Every scene is a child; he won't give it up. The result is that much of Volume 2, for all of its strengths, is self-indulgent.
That's the bad news. The good...