Anthony's Film Review
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Quentin Tarantino's classic crime thriller is one hell of a ride...
This is the film that established Quentin Tarantino as one of the most brilliant directors of our time. He brings a unique style of directing to the world of film. He also has a method of storytelling that is not entirely conventional. He is what I would call a tribute director. With his love of films and watching so many of them when he used to work at a video rental store, he likes to pay tribute to his favorite films through his own films. Like any storyteller, he takes great ideas already done, puts them into a mixer along with his vision, and produces something that has signs of the old, but is original and new as a whole.
Reservoir Dogs features eight characters. Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) is a crime boss and his son is Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn). They get together a team of six criminals for a jewelry store robbery. Each of the six are given a color to remain anonymous: Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino), and Mr. Blue (Eddie Bunker). This is not a carelessly formed team. This is one that could get the job done well no matter it is. Joe Cabot is a guy who knows what he's doing.
And yet, the robbery goes horribly wrong. The police arrive just as the crooks do. In the midst of the chaos, people are shot, one of the crooks is dead, and the remaining go in different directions as they scramble to escape. Now, keep in mind that this is a Quentin Tarantino film we're talking about. This is not a story that is told in chronological order.
The first scene after the opening credits involves part of the aftermath. Mr. White is driving a bloody Mr. Orange in the backseat. Orange is in agonizing pain from a gunshot to the belly. They arrive at an empty warehouse serving as their hideout where Mr. Pink enters the scene. The lengthy dialogue that follows among these three introduces the mystery. One of the crooks is actually a police informer. Whoever he is, he is the one to blame for the robbery's failure.
Scenes of the robbery mostly come late in the film. The story of it is mostly told through dialogue in events later in the timeline. There are also scenes taking place before the big heist. By breaking away from the tradition of chronological storytelling, the film gives the audience an additional sense of curiosity, because they won't know what part of the story will be told next. The dialogue is another strong point. It's realistic and naturally flowing, whether it is related to the plot or just chit chat. Of course, you cannot have a good script without the execution. The performances by everyone are done very well.
Considering the types of films produced up to this point, I can see how Reservoir Dogs was refreshingly original in 1992. It is both a classic in the gangster film genre and, in my opinion, one of Tarantino's best films. It has all the Tarantino trademarks, including references to old films, pop culture of the past, out-of-order storytelling, fictional product brands, a camera shot from inside a car trunk, and a continuous camera shot following a character. For a newbie to his work, this film is a good introduction.
I was impressed by the whole thing and how engrossed in the film I was. It is a film that is truly thrilling, from the lunch scene in the beginning of the film to the very last shot before the credits roll.
For more information about Reservoir Dogs, visit the Internet Movie Database.