Reservoir Dogs (1992)

reservoir dogsWith a movie like Reservoir Dogs there’s so much to say but it’s super difficult to know where to start. I mean, how would you begin with describing Quentin Tarantino’s first movie which was followed by the beloved Pulp Fiction and a handful of other great movies? Especially in a situation where most Tarantino fans have already seen Reservoir Dogs and think you’re an idiot for waiting so long to finally see it. And as you start writing the review a feeling of quilt probably kicks in just because you truly are incredibly stupid for watching Reservoir Dogs for the first time in 2013 – so yes, I’m a fucking idiot and here’s my review!

First off, I already feel the whole vibe of Tarantino flooding over me, hence the usage of the f-word in my introduction. There’s simply no escape from becoming more vulgar than usual after seeing a Tarantino movie, or I’m just super easily influenced. Either way, Reservoir Dogs definitely makes my list of favorite movies for multiple reasons but starting with the plot location. Now, I knew that the whole movie was more or less going to take place in a single location but I wasn’t afraid of that. More precisely, I believed it to be a very interesting way of telling a story – take for instance Phone Booth! The entire plot of that 2002 movie takes place on a single street and as far as I remember, I was on the edge of my seat while watching this movie. For some reason, the idea of filming a large portion of the movie in a single location is thrilling and in the hands of Tarantino, I knew it will most likely be beyond awesome. Though Reservoir Dogs had some intro-stories of the characters, the main plot still took place in a warehouse and even with such a restriction, something plots tend to keep away from, the movie worked on all levels.

There’s no doubt that the strength of Tarantino is his own writing and the man knows it. I mean, why else has Tarantino only done a few episodes for CSI and just guest directed for Sin City – he knows that his screenplays are awesome, so he sticks with those. Reservoir Dogs is no different, especially considering that there’s a lot of emphasis on the dialogs which have to carry a large portion of the movie. Even in the beginning, all eight men, named after colors, are sitting behind a table – there’s not much going on visually but the conversation is enough to keep the viewer interested. I mean, looking back, there’s not that much going on in Reservoir Dogs anyway, it would have a very minimal plot summary and yet, it is by far more interesting than it sounds.

Reservoir Dogs 1Next to the writing, the soundtrack was obviously delightful but that’s just common knowledge with Tarantino’s movies. It’s just great to know that he has the ability to add the right song to a specific scene, and I’m not a very good music person, so when a compliment regarding a song comes from me, it’s something. To be honest, I’ve noticed that Tarantino uses songs as part of his stories, so instead of just being on the background, the song itself carries meaning with it. But then again, being aware of the cult sensation he has become after Reservoir Dogs, I know that he uses hidden meanings in most of the things he does. It’s not just the music, it’s the names, it’s the characteristics, there’s even a historic background suitable for the movie’s plot behind a single pipe. So with my minimal knowledge of movies prior to the 90’s, I assume Reservoir Dogs and many other Tarantino’s films have much more to them than my brain can apprehend.

Simply put, Tarantino’s smart and that comes across in Reservoir Dogs and not just because he spent a mere amount of 1,2 million dollars and had the highest crossing independent movie at that time with close to 15 million dollars. It’s smart of him to create an interesting story without using a lot of space and actors – though there were eight men in the beginning, there are only few left for the actual movie. Therefore, when it comes to resources, Reservoir Dogs was already set to be great based on its screenplay which allowed a lot while using very little in terms of movies. Then again, a lot of awesome was created by such actors as Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Steve Buscemi. While the characters worked for them, they worked seemingly great together as well and that is again something Tarantino’s movies have in common. And as one of my blog readers already pointed out, Michael Madsen’s “Stuck in the Middle With You” scene is a definite stand out. That and the fact that Roth’s character was unconscious a lot during this movie – man, I love Roth!

That’s that, there isn’t much I’ve said about Reservoir Dogs but damn, there’s not much to tell. People who know Tarantino have either seen the movie and know it’s good. People who haven’t should watch it when they’ve liked Tarantino before. Simple as that. Reservoir Dogs is also an example how a great career starts – strongly and with a bang! That’s why Tarantino became a well known name so early on in his career, he made two movies and with that he already established himself as a great writer/director. So for those reasons alone, Reservoir Dogs is  worth your time in case you still haven’t seen it and happen to be an idiot just like I was.

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17 thoughts on “Reservoir Dogs (1992)”

  1. Nice review 🙂 Glad that you liked this one, it would be hard to see why you wouldn’t! Madsen’s routine is definitely the stand out moment, but there’s so many great bits in this movie. In fact like the story that Roth tells. It’s all good stuff!

    1. It’s Pulp for me. I think it’s because of the cast, I love Willis and Jackson. Plus, it has more going on which makes it stand out a bit more.

  2. “Reservoir Dogs is worth your time in case you still haven’t seen it and happen to be an idiot just like I was.”

    Aww, that is so self-effacing of you! You’re no idiot, my friend. I’m just glad you watched it and liked it – never any rush!

  3. Great review!! I don’t really remember the soundtrack in that, which is odd because I usually remember most of the music in Tarantino films. I think this one is among his very best, shame he is no longer making movies as great as this anf PF, I think if I saw this one now it would make me like Django a whole less.

    1. Well, you do hate Foxx so I think that clouds your judgment regarding Django.. but I mean, Tarantino has still remained true to himself. Yes, he has evolved but everybody does but at least he hasn’t sold himself short like Ritchie (doing those Hollywood Sherlocks instead of something like Snatch) or Burton (don’t get me started with Alice in Wonderland CGI crap). So I mean.. I’m torn. PF is for sure my favorite but I’m torn.

      1. If the film is truly good and the character is interesting it doesn’t matter if I like the actor or not, I’m not the kind of person whose judgement can be clouded when it comes to overall quality of the movie. Helll, I don’t like Franco either but he was outstanding in 127 Hours and the movie was very good. The complaint I hear the most about Django is that it feels too long and well, it does because with who we are left to see as a central figure in the last 30 minutes. Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction….these could have lasted 5 hours and I don’t thiknk they would feel long.

        1. Yeah.. who knows, for me Les Mis felt long but DJango didn’t. Though indeed, the movie died a bit when Waltz died but I still don’t think it’s that bad after all We’ll see what he comes up next so we could finally tell if he has lost his mojo or not. 😀

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