232 of 1001 Movies: Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Quentin Tarantino has created some classics in Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds, and Django Unchained is destined to be one as well. One of his other popular movies is Reservoir Dogs, which is basically the beginning of Tarantino movies as we know it. There is plenty of gore, foul language, and oddly dark humor thrown into the surrounding death at the moment. It’s also quite short at around an hour and a thirty minute run. It builds though with good character development, and a lot of twists by the end.

Summary: Six criminals are chosen for a heist, and they are assigned undercover names that are colors to go by. Joe Cabot doesn’t want them to grow attached to each other, and feels hiding their identities will help. He wants them to complete a jewelry heist, but things go really bad when the police are there upon their arrival. now the remaining guys who have survived are trying to figure out who set them up to get caught, and they determine that the guy who did was probably working with them the entire time.

Acting: The cast features recognizable faces. Quentin Tarantino even appears as a character in the movie. Steve Buscemi is Mr. Pink, and portrays his character well, but with his usual Buscemi traits. Harvey Keitel is Mr. White, and one of my favorite characters in the movie. I thought the ending between him and Tim Roth’s Mr. Orange is pretty legendary. It leaves the viewer with mixed feelings that I imagine can be pretty divisive. Michael Madsen is Mr. Blonde, who adds a bit of insanity and intrigue to the film as well. There are plenty of others in the movie, but these are the ones who made it interesting to watch. I was shocked by how much time had passed in the time just exploring their characters.

Filming: The movie is shot with a lot of movement, and even when he scene is at a certain spot for a while this increases the suspense of a scene. There is an instant where one guy is on the floor with a guy who is shot, and it just goes back and forth between him and the guy who is standing there is a way to increase the intensity of the scene. The flashbacks pieced together in the movie are well done as well because with each character you grow with the story, and by the end you realize how quick it was.

Plot: I went into the movie not knowing what the plot was, and after a few minutes of the guys just chatting at the beginning I wondered where this movie would go. It quickly gets going though after that by picking up after that scene with a guy shot in a back of a car. From there the movie is filled with the violence you can expect from Tarantino. The plot does a good job about getting you involved with the characters though, and providing scenes that are difficult to forget. What will really pull you in is the dynamic of one of the guys being a rat.

Reservoir Dogs is a classic for a reason. Even if you’re not a fan of Tarantino it is one of the better heist movies there is, and it centers on the characters in a way that drives the whole story off who they are they are and why they are there. I’ve liked all his movies so far, so when beginning this one I had hopes of liking despite the genre not being one of my favorites in the past, and it became one of my favorites I’ve seen regarding a heist.

Rating 8 of 10.

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