If “Kill Bill – Vol. 1” was like a roundhouse kick to the head, “Vol. 2” is practically a warm hug. There’s still plenty of violence in the second half of Quentin Tarantino’s samurai-kung fu-spaghetti Western-blaxploitation megamix. There just isn’t the kind of cartoonish blood and gore that saturated the first film. “Vol. 2” ends on a note that could almost be described as heartwarming, with Uma Thurman’s character – a vengeful assassin known as The Bride – finding happiness in a traditional way. “Vol. 2” is every bit as thrilling as the first, but it also features more of the stylized, rhythmic dialogue that has become the writer-director’s trademark through films like “Pulp Fiction.” This gives the second film an emotional resonance that the first lacked, and it brings the enormity of the whole project into perspective. R for violence, language and brief drug use. 136 min. Three stars out of four.
– Christy Lemire, AP Entertainment Writer

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