Retro Reviews: Reservoir Dogs (1992/Quentin Tarantino)

Mixing a terrific cast with stimulating dialogue and a simplistic but engrossing narrative, Quentin Tarantino proved to me how much of a talented director he is in this unforgettable debut film of his.

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He opens it with oddly hilarious straightforward dialogue enough to get you going, and continues it with mystery. What’s best about the opening scene is, you get a glimpse of how these characters are going to be as each of their personalities are shown with subtlety. It all continues with Tarantino telling the story with such cleverness and style with each vital character getting their own chapters to show their characterization. Along with it came memorable moments that still come up whenever I think about this film. The execution of every scene is done very well. It contained thrills, excitement, or just an odd sense of dark humor. It is all achieved without being too flashy with explosions or a lotta gunfights, but rather interesting conversations.

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The performances are incredible. Tarantino handpicked a very well talented cast of old and young, each bringing their characters to life with unique portrayals. Though every one of them was admittedly great, perhaps my favorite performance comes from Michael Madsen. He just gave simple insanity to his character. You know, he didn’t give off the fact that he was fucking psychotic. He just kept it inside of him, but when he let it out one of the film’s most unforgettable moments was made. Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth and Steve Buscemi were brilliant as well. My second favorite would have to Steve as he was charismatic and funny. Tim Roth and Harvey Keitel on the other hand had great banter, and delivered one of my favorite scenes in the film. It’s that painful opening scene which showed the father-son like chemistry of them two. The editing of the film was on point with each sequence getting seamlessly connected with the next and it builds excitement as the story went on. Because it had everything I wanted in a great film but it also had style, Tarantino became one of my favorite directors of all time. The guy knows how to make entertainment through conversations. If there’s one more reason why one should see it aside from the fact that this put Tarantino on the pedestal is that it’s because of the conversations these characters have.

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I’m a big fan of crime/gangster films so “Reservoir Dogs” was very enjoyable for me. It may not had those intense car chases but it sure did give me a good time by having unique storytelling, memorable characters and engrossing dialogue. It is simple yet absorbing.

4.5/5 stars.

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