Lashings of sharp dialogue, offbeat characters and horrific violence punctuate four intertwining stories about small-time thieves, drug-dealers and hitmen, spread over the few days surrounding a supposedly fixed boxing match. But it's the drugtaking scenes that stick in the mind most. A fetihistic sequence of John Travolta shooting up heroin is closely followed by Uma Therman's spectacular overdose and her subsequent recovery thanks to a dealer (Eric Stoltz) with s syringe of adrenaline. Many directors have since tried to copy the black humour but have only succeded in making gross films. If you're a real buff, repeated viewings will reveal that the famously film-literate Tarantino has included a tribute to Howard Hawks, plus character names and snippets of dialogue from Saturday Night Fever, On The Waterfront, Psycho and Charley Varrick.


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