Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Classic--Reservoir Dogs

or: The action movie made up entirely of dialogue.

One word to sum it up: Talky.

After watching Reservoir Dogs, I came to the realization that I have now watched all of Quentin Tarantino's movies (okay, so I haven't watched Jackie Brown, but I barely knew that was in existence and it's not exactly easy to find). You know what? I am still in love with QT just as much as I was when I first watched Pulp Fiction when I was a wee twelve years old. Reservoir Dogs, his debut feature, is a clear example of why he decided to do his own thing and it worked, which is why he is one of the best directors around these days.

Six criminals, who are strangers to each other, are hired by a crime boss Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) to carry out a diamond robbery. Right at the outset, they are given false names with an intention that they won't get too close and concentrate on the job instead. They are completely sure that the robbery is going to be a success. But when the police show up right at the time and the site of the robbery, panic spreads amongst the group members and one of them is killed in the subsequent shootout along with a few policemen and civilians. When the remaining people assemble at the premeditated rendezvous point (a warehouse), they begin to suspect that one of them is an undercover cop.

From it's opening scene, where we hear Quentin Tarantino's unmistakable voice trying to explain Like a Virgin, you can tell you're in Quentin-territory. This is going to be a ridiculously violent film which is basically driven by dialogue. Smart, sometimes untopical dialogue. I can't begin to imagine how new audiences would have felt back in 1992 when they watched this movie. I'm damn sure they wouldn't have seen anything like it. Quentin indulgently plunges into cinematic history by recreating iconic scenes from the movies you never saw. He basically brings homage to Hollywood, but his Reservoir Dogs is original and fresh, setting the standard for future Tarantino flicks. Anyone who comes out with a debut as bold as this one deserves their place in Hollywood's hall of fame.

Reservoir Dogs boasts a fantastic ensemble cast, which is made up entirely of males. It's hard to pick any stand outs, as they all take the script and digest it so well that it's like watching good cinema coming back to life. If I have anything bad to say about this film it's that like any debut feature, this film needed to be combed back a bit more, and definitely isn't as well put together as later Tarantino efforts like Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds. Sometimes the non-stop dialogue gets to be a bit tiresome, but all in all, Reservoir Dogs changed cinema, and I am eternally greatful for that.

THE VERDICT: Quentin Tarantino dares to do what others couldn't, and succeeded. Reservoir Dogs is a one stop shop for great performances, insane violence, clever scripting and a homage to what cinema really is.


1 comment:

  1. Oh man, I love Reservoir Dogs. My 2nd favourite Tarantino film (Jackie Brown being the first - you've seriously got to hunt down that film, it's awesome. Pam Grier is so bad ass in it.)

    One thing that does make Reservoir Dogs what it is, of course, is Mr Blonde. Who can not love that man?


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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