Director: Quentin Tarantino
Genres: Drama, Crime, Gangster
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney
Box Office: $1,169,142 (USA)
Trivia: Madonna – who is the main topic of the opening conversation – really liked the film but refuted Quentin Tarantino’s interpretation of her song ‘Like a Virgin’. She gave him a copy of her ‘Erotica’ album, signed “To Quentin. It’s not about dick, it’s about love. Madonna.”
Nice Guy Eddie: Okay, first things ****in’ last!
Mr. White: Smoke?
Mr. Pink: I quit.
Mr. Pink: What, you got one?
Mr. White: If you shoot this man, you die next. Repeat. If you shoot this man, you die next.
LAPD Officer Marvin Nash: Please, Please, Don’t burn me, man.
Mr. Blonde: You all through? You all through?
LAPD Officer Marvin Nash: Look, I… I got a little kid at home, now PLEASE.
Mr. Blonde: No, no, no, no, no, no. You all done? You all done? Have some fire, scarecrow.
Reservoir Dogs has to be Tarantino’s greatest accomplishment. To come out of the gates with this great of a movie almost makes up for the disaster that was “From Dusk Till Dawn.” While the acting is superb, there’s only so much that you can credit the actor for when he’s handed a script this perfect and lead be a director as gifted as Tarantino. The Visuals aren’t necessarily stunning but it is relatively clear that the film is supposed to have an unpolished and gritty appearance. The Only draw back on the perfect story is that Quentin borrowed it from several 70’s kung fu films. Many may complain that Tarantino gives away the ending too soon by letting us know who the rat is… but the plot is not discovering the rat but finding out who discovers that he is the rat first. True appreciation of Pulp Fiction of Jackie Brown cannot be attained without first watching Tarantino’s first at bat opus.
A movie about a bank heist gone awry and one character suspecting an inside job. We never see the robbery, so the viewer has to rely on dialogue–and because dialogue comes so naturally to Tarantino it never gets tedious. In fact, we hear so much about the Mr. Blonde character, who comes in later in the movie, that we expect a deranged criminal (and we get a deranged criminal). And while I’m on the subject, the acting was superb. Michael Madsen’s cool, laid-back portrayal of Mr. Blonde made him a favorite, but the better performances are Steve Buscemi’s shifty-eyed, suspicious, anxious Mr. Pink, Harvey Keitel’s hard-edged Mr. White, and Tim Roth’s quiet Mr. Orange. Lawrence Tierney and Chris Penn turn in great performances as Joe and Nice Guy Eddie, and Tarantino’s casting of an actual criminal (Eddie Bunker) as Mr. Blue was clever.
It seems Tarantino really gave actors freedom to do what they want, and his script is top-notch. The entire story only takes place within a span of a couple of hours. It’s centered in a warehouse where Mr. Pink and Mr. White try to rationalize what happened at the bank and watch over Mr. Orange, who was shot in the gut during the heist. The story unfolds from there with flashbacks and the backgrounds of Mr. White, Mr. Pink, and Mr. Orange spliced in and it culminates in a thrilling, powerful ending. Overall Reservoir Dogs is a brilliant, well-paced, thrilling, and at times humorous film, and is a must-see.