Starring: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Sonny Chiba, David Carradine, Chiaki Kuriyama Director: Quentin Tarantino Category III Simply put, Quentin Tarantino's long-awaited and much-hyped fourth film is a homage to the films that filled his head as he wiled away the hours behind the counter of a video store all those years ago. Chief on the honour roll are the works of Hong Kong's Shaw Brothers studios (whose logo is even flashed), Japanese directors such as Kinji Fukasaku and Seijun Suzuki, and a smattering of his Hollywood B-grade heroes. And he splatters these influences all over the walls from the opening frames. Despite the occasional foray into frat house-style bad taste, the violence is too over-the-top for anyone to take seriously. The idea is to sit back and be dazzled by the sheer excitement generated by it all. Tarantino does take his chances. Full-blown action giving way to Japanese anime, all of it littered with enough nods and winks to keep film geeks revisiting time and again. And for the most part it works. Uma Thurman is 'The Bride', beaten senseless on her wedding day by four assassins and left for dead by the Bill of the title. When she wakes from a coma four years later, she embarks on a crusade to track them down one by one. As is his wont, Tarantino dances us back and forth through time, but the thread is easy to pick up. The face off between The Bride and assassin O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Lui) is astonishing for the choreography of Yuen Woo-ping and the inspired editing. Thurman shines, the support cast rallies around her and Tarantino's trademark snappy, street-smart dialogue keeps the pace on the chaotic side of frenetic. A typically rare and cool soundtrack completes the magic. It won't be everyone's cup of sake, but is clearly not meant to be. There's no real depth in plot, or examination of character. Instead Tarantino has marshalled his forces for a series of set-piece assaults on his genres of choice. Much action, much blood and - if you'll allow it - much fun. Kill Bill Vol. 1 opens today.