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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    ‘Vol. 2’ lacks extra DVD features

    Kill Bill: Volume 2


    Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen and Gordon Liu

    Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

    Availability: Now

    The Verdict: ‘Vol. 2’ ties up lose ends with style and explains mysteries of ‘Vol. 1’, but the DVD’s extra features still leave a little to be desired.

    Rated R for violence, brief drug use and language.

    Film Rating

    4 stars out of 4

    Extra Features Rating

    2 stars out of 4

    Tarantino gives us the showdown we wanted from the beginning: The Bride vs. Bill.
    In Kill Bill Vol. 1, we learned a lot about The Bride (Thurman). She left the assassin gig, ready for marriage, but the ceremony ended when five former friends and co-assassins killed everyone in the chapel.
    But The Bride survived, falling into a four-year coma. Upon waking up from her slumber she ached for bloody revenge.
    At the beginning of “Vol. 2” a black-and-white scene reveals the specifics of the wedding massacre. Then the film swings into the present.
    Having dispatched two members of The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and the entire Crazy 88, The Bride (Thurman) has three victims left: Bud (Madsen), a bar bouncer with a quiet, stoic demeanor and razor-sharp instincts, Elle Driver (Hannah), a temperamental and sly firecracker with a streak of backstabbing and an ever growing interest in Hattori Hanzo swords and Bill (Carradine), a flute-playing, “cold-hearted” man who philosophizes about Superman.
    “Vol. 2” tops the first half in many ways. The scoop on Bill and The Bride is finally revealed with careful precision courtesy of Tarantino’s superb screenwriting. Dialogue reminiscent of “Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs” glides throughout the film.
    The characters shine brilliantly and interact considerably more-especially Carradine, who deserves an Oscar for his frank grittiness and almost laid-back performance.
    The pure emotion lacking from “Vol. 1” rushes onto the screen like a tidal wave in this installment. This half is clearly more nuanced, poetic, fulfilling and mature. Moreover, Tarantino pays more homage to the spaghetti western (think “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” or “Once Upon a Time in the West”) in “Vol. 2,” a contrast to the samurai, kung fu and anime influences in the preceding film. This change of gears propels “Kill Bill” from a simple revenge story to a Shakespearean roller coaster of thoughts, feelings and complex ethics.
    Not surprisingly, many would complain, “No stupendous action like in ‘Vol. 1’?” Well, wait for the battle between Thurman and Hannah in a crowded, messy trailer. This fight contains more crotch kicking, deadly collisions and general brutality than anything seen in macho karate flicks.
    Pai Mei (Gordon Liu), a character straight from the vintage kung fu variety, entertains with his insulting chatter and bone-crushing techniques as he trains The Bride in an often hilarious flashback.
    However, the real rush comes when Thurman and Carradine meet in a most unexpected manner, complete with truth serum, long-buried feelings and one huge plot twist.
    Unfortunately, the extras on this DVD are only slightly above average. A 20 minute “making of” feature only leaves the viewer wanting more. Robert Rodriguez, composer of the original music in “Vol. 2” and director of “Desperado,” showcases his talent as a songwriter and guitarist in a live performance of two tracks from the “Vol. 2” soundtrack.
    Also a deleted scene yields an interesting confrontation between Bill and a few snide ninjas.
    Absent from the DVD are special commentaries from Tarantino, the cast or crew, extended interviews from those involved in the movie and ,more importantly, any fight scene analyses which would have been great to see.

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    ‘Vol. 2’ lacks extra DVD features