The second half of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill saga karate-kicks right in where Vol. 1 left off: The avenging bride and professional killer (Uma Thurman) has dispatched two of her five would-be assassins, and is hot on the dusty trail of the rest: bouncer Budd (Michael Madsen), one-eyed Elle (Daryl Hannah) and her former master, Bill. Keeping with Tarantino's narrative hop-scotching techniques, Vol. 2 relates the story's beginning, end and some of the middle. This time out, most of the action takes place in the American West; there's less fighting (and considerably less comic gore) and more talk, always a Tarantino plus (he scripted). Vol. 2 also has a lot more Bill (David Carradine) who proves to be a near physical, cerebral and moral match to our anti-heroine. (Thurman, to her credit, successfully holds up what is a four-hour action film without appearing cartoonish, sexually fetishized or butch.) The power of the film's eventual pay-off may depend on a viewer's tolerance for the emotionally squishy side of Tarantino (though he scatters loopholes throughout that permit a more unsettling read on the conclusion). It's shot with Tarantino's typical verve, so expect stylized riffs on pop culture, quoting from neo-spaghetti Westerns, kung-fu films, and even a nail-biting splash of Hammer horror, all buoyed with a vibrant and kicky soundtrack: One aspect of Q's superior fanboy shtick I've always appreciated is that you never know what song might play next.