Reservoir Dogs (1992)

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“Are you gonna bark all day, little doggy? Or are you gonna bite?”

After a film like Reservoir Dogs it’s easy to see why Tarantino has become such a huge name in the film making world. The writing is absolutely brilliant; I mean it has to be when the whole film takes place in a single location, besides the use of flashbacks. Despite this fact, the story is intriguing and the dialogue never gets dull or tedious. All of the typical Tarantino-isms are there, including black humor, lots of violence, and a non-linear story line. Oh, and of course a great soundtrack to go along with all of that!

The film tells the story of mainly four men trying to figure out what to do after a botched robbery has taken place. All of the men are forbidden to tell each other their actual names, and go by code names instead. We don’t get to see the robbery itself take place, which is a truly unique aspect of this film, and instead only get to see what takes place afterward. One of the men comes to the conclusion that a rat is amongst them who tipped off the police beforehand.

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It’s hard to pick out an actor(s) that stand out most because all of them are just so good as their character. Each one perfectly portrays who they are supposed to be, whether it is Michael Madsen as a psychotic and insane cold-blooded killer, Steve Buscemi as the guy trying to pull everything together and act “professionally”, or Harvey Keitel as the veteran thief. It’s truly a great cast, which I feel is also a trademark of Tarantino’s films.

I did read some reviews before I began watching this film to get an idea for it, and many remarked that it was very over-the-top violent. I disagree. The violence in this film always has a motive or a reason to be there. Mostly I believe it is for character development. These men are killers and have next to no value for the life of a police officer (“You kill anybody?” “A few cops.” “No real people?” “Just cops.”). Through their violent acts, you get to know the men themselves. Also, this film is definitely not as violent as newer Tarantino films (Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds) but perhaps in the early 90’s this could have been considered pretty intense.

What is truly great about this film is the fact that on the outside it may appear to be your typical crime drama, who-done-it flick, but it definitely is not. It is a unique twist on a story that has been done before and there is little predictability to it. The end of a movie I feel is the most important part. If the ending isn’t good, then the whole movie looks bad. Tarantino never disappoints in always giving me a good ending that just ties everything nicely together into one package of a movie. I can easily see how Reservoir Dogs has become a Tarantino classic, right up there with Pulp Fiction.

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4 thoughts on “Reservoir Dogs (1992)

  1. Fantastic movie, and a great post! This is Tarantino at his best when using violence, I’m a big fan of Kill Bill and the over-usage of blood there, but Madsen’s violent scene is truly shocking – and for the right reasons.

    • For sure, it really revealed a lot about his character. A lot of people aren’t a fan of Tarantino because of his use of violence but I believe he always uses it in the right way to develop his story.

  2. Definitely IS a great movie, and a great script, too. You can see why Tarantino was destined to be a legend, even though this was only his first film!

    You’re right, the cast is fantastic. I’m hard pressed to choose who was the best. Tim Roth, maybe. But they were all so great. Seriously… Chris Penn, Buscemi, all of them!

    • Yep, definitely! I feel bad that it took me so long to get around to seeing it because it’s definitely going up there as one of my favorites of his! Thanks for the comment, Fogs. 🙂

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