Matthew Lickona 4:30 p.m., May 20
Kill Bill: Volume 2
The second half offers no convincing evidence that Quentin Tarantino needed two installments to tell his scrambled tale. It convinces us instead that in its entirety the film is even worse than initially believed. For much of the time, it looks more like sweepings from the cutting-room floor than like a legitimate sequel: a dumping ground for the slow parts. Certainly, any part that features David Carradine -- the titular Bill, who finally puts in an appearance, tootling his own musical motif like Charles Bronson in Once upon a Time in the West -- will necessarily be a slow part, inasmuch as the actor enunciates his lines like a drunk driver in a roadside conversation with a Highway Patrolman. The sole sensation of speed, the sole release from the Leone-like longueurs, could come from getting caught up in trying to keep pace with the cinematic in-jokes and allusions. But the only profit in that line of pursuit -- a trivial pursuit par excellence -- would be the verification of Tarantino's credentials as a movie nut. His knowledge and his enthusiasm have never been in question; his intelligence and taste are something else again. Uma Thurman, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah. 2004.