IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR WITH QUENTIN TARANTINO REVIEW: “Reservoir Dogs” stars Harvey Keitel (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Bad Lieutenant), Tim Roth (The Incredible Hulk , Rob Roy), Michael Madsen (Species, Wyatt Earp ), Steve Buscemi (Fargo , Ghost World), Chris Penn (Short Cuts, True Romance), Lawrence Tierney (Born to Kill, Bodyguard), Kirk Baltz (Natural Born Killers, Face/Off), Eward Bunker (The Longest Yard, Tango & Cash), Randy Brooks (Colors, Assassination), and Quentin Tarantino (From Dusk Till Dawn, Sleep with Me). It is written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. After an operation goes horribly wrong, a group of criminals try to assess who among them is an undercover cop.
While it’s not Tarantino’s first film, it’s certainly the one that got him on the map, thus justifying it being the start to our new director’s marathon. “Reservoir Dogs” kind of rattled the cage of Hollywood. At least, that’s what I heard from the bonus content included on my blu-ray release of this film. To be honest, I have no clue how this movie shaped the plains of the filmmaking realm. All I know is, Tarantino gained attention from it, and I figure it’s because of the unique style this story provides. What’s it about? A bunch of hired guns trying to find a rat amongst their own when a job goes wrong. Pretty simple and mostly shot in one location. However, it’s larger than life. Why? The dialogue and acting. Boy, is this a fascinating watch. It’s nonconventional and non-comformative, making for an experience that is unrelenting and unforgiving. Not only that, but the movie is just straight up cool. You can tell Tarantino and his actors had a blast making this; the opening sequence alone tells you this, where the director himself performs alongside the ragtag group of criminals. It’s an interesting experience because while it focuses on a situation, it also embodies a character study (or in this case, multiple character studies). The movie is edited in a way that highlights character arcs around a central event: the botched job of a robbery. Nothing is in order, and the way Tarantino arranges his scenes makes things unpredictable. We know where our characters end up, but what we don’t understand is WHO these people are. While some may say this information is unnecessary, it creates a new layer of discovery. Granted, there are certain scenes that seem to drag on for too long. Some may even feel dull. However, the majority of this movie glosses over its issues fairly well. I loved this cast, their chemistry, and the story. It’s essentially a “Glengarry Glen Ross” approach, but edgier. Everyone did a phenomenal job, leading to an ending I really didn’t expect. Sure, with a conflict like this, a bloody finish is warranted, but it was still brutal and surprising to see it all go down. Harvey Kietel killed it, as did Steve Buschemi and Tim Roth. They were my favorites, and made this story soar. Really, if you’re looking for a simplistic conflict with a complex underbelly, “Reservoir Dogs” is a solid choice. It breathes a true film experience that loves what it’s doing, and it’s a joy to take part of. It also has a killer song selection, all of which embodies its own character within the movie. Besides some scenes that aren’t as engaging (and somewhat slow/dull) as others, it’s a real treat. FINAL SCORE: 92%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: