The Bill Comes Due

Tarantino's killathon ends on a pensive, emotional note. But folks still get buried alive and blown away

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The cool twist is that the females are deadlier than the males. The deadliest is the newly righteous, sword-wielding Bride, whom Thurman invests with a bracing grit and poise. The Bride's final at-home with Bill has the threat of imminent violence; nothing is spookier than watching Carradine, who can steal a scene without leaving fingerprints, make a sandwich for a 4-year-old. But the face-off is laced with the melancholy melody of a sundered couple reminding themselves why they were together.

The combined Kill Bill speaks volumes, but it doesn't tell the whole saga. How about a prequel, detailing the DIVAS' formation and exploits? Or a sequel, since one of our heroine's enemies has survived and is keeping an eye out for her? This borderline-Chekhovian episode should not be the end of the epic. But if it is, enjoy the frissons in a theater near you. Then in a few months sit down in front of the DVD player and watch both parts of a gargantuanly entertaining double feature.

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