Sunday, August 29, 2021

Reservoir Dogs

Movie Name:
Reservoir Dogs
Year of Release: 1992
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Randy Brooks, Kirk Baltz, Quentin Tarantino, David Steen
Genre: Crime, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
"Reservoir Dogs" is director Quentin Tarantino's feature directorial debut. It follows the story of a group of strangers, who are hired by a crime boss, by the name of Joe Cabot, to carry out a diamond robbery. They're all given code names, in order for them not to become too friendly with each other, and instead focus on the job itself. The heist however takes a dark turn, a few of them are killed, and the remainder re-assemble in a warehouse, where they're trying to understand what has happened. One of them is slowly bleeding to death, and they all suspect there's an undercover cop in the group, and that person tipped the police about their pending heist. As they try to make sense of the whole ordeal and check the validity of their suspicions, tensions arise.
"Reservoir Dogs" established Quentin Tarantino's reputation, something that was further enhanced by the series of scripts he crafter for other directors in the subsequent years, namely Tony Scott's "True Romance" and Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers", not forgetting of course, "Pulp Fiction", which effectively made him a star in his own right. "Reservoir Dogs" manages to be at its best, when the fraught relationships between the group members are being showcased and some of their personalities, shine through. That is particularly visible with Harvey Keitel's Mr. White, and the way he protects Tim Roth's Mr. Orange. As the relationships between these seemingly strangers are peeled off, and their motivations are made clearer, the dynamics of the group also becomes more transparent, though that mostly only occurs with a few characters (which coincidentally, is where the film falters the most). For all its fame and reputation, it's a film that at times feels very much like a stage play, one that has without question some violence and grittiness, but still one that feels borderline artificial. The film does manage to have its own environment well crafted, and the cast gives it a beating heart, with Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi and Chris Penn, all creating memorable characters. While not as effective as his subsequent films, it's still an entertaining film from a great director.