Like one of The Bride's lethal sword strikes, Kill Bill: Vol. 2 split audiences right down the middle. Some claimed it gave Tarantino's characters breathing room and emotional heft. Others, with a disdainful flick of a beard, derided the naff natter, pat ending and paucity of gory cut-'em-ups. Funny thing is, they're both right.
Sure, the second instalment boasts Uma Thurman's snappy scenes with Pai Mei (Gordon Liu), her ouch-tastic lady-scrap with Daryl Hannah and grizzly support from Michael Madsen and David Carradine. On the downside, the thin revenge plot is stretched to breaking point and pivots on a maternal twist that, while surprising, throws the whole film off balance. The end result is rather like Hannah's Elle Driver: not dead, but missing a few vital parts.