Reservoir Dogs Reviews
After a jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant and tension rises between them as they slowly start to become more and more suspicious of each other.
I mentioned that the majority of his movies being style over substance doesn't bother me because he often handles a particular aspect so well that I don't mind nor care about the lack of depth. What makes this film work so well is its non-linear plot. If it was linear then it wouldn't be as interesting. Its timeline being out of order, however, actually works in its favor. In fact, we actually never see the jewelry heist take place. This movies shows us the aftermath of it. The criminals describe what went wrong in the heist often in the film and they describe it by using such descriptive detail that we are able to imagine what went on in the heist in our heads.
Despite all the praise this movie has gotten, some people accused Tarantino of being a plagiarist. There are definitely some similarities to movies such as "The Killing", "The Asphalt Jungle", "The Taking of Pelham 123", and "City on Fire". Tarantino was definitely influenced by those movies but the word "stealing" is a pretty heavy and strong accusation. Reservoir Dogs is great by itself and it still contains a lot of originality. Tarantino clearly has an extensive film knowledge and he likes to pay an homage to some of his favorite directors very often. In Tarantino's case, his technique helped him make 2 of the best films of the 90's: "Pulp Fiction" and "Reservoir Dogs".
The ensemble cast works very well together and it helps shapes the movie. Usually when I watch movies, I find that only a select few of the actors stand out among the rest. However, I felt that all of the actors stood out a lot. Many of the actors talk fast and, by doing so, it really makes the words jump out of the screen. Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) is the one that steals the show though. He has been through a lot and we can't help but feel sorry for his character and he is the one that most people root for. Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) plays the mob boss. He does a great job in his role and he is able to convince the audience that he's a character that you don't mess with. I wish that he was in the movie more. If he was in more scenes, he would have been a much more memorable character but he still is pretty memorable in the parts he does appear in.
Without any doubt, this film is definitely a masterpiece. It may not be on the same level as "Pulp Fiction" is in terms of greatness and impact on cinema history but its quality is surprisingly not far from it. I really enjoyed its non-linear plot structure and I hope that Tarantino expands on this in future films because he creates outstanding works of cinema when he does that. Every time he does it, I always find myself in awe in certain scenes, especially the endings which are very well-executed and often catch me off guard and surprise me. Back in 1992, Tarantino showed us what he was truly capable of and he proved to the world that he was, in fact, a very talented film maker.
The story is good, though a little too simple at its core. After a crew of criminals robs a jewelry store - and get ambushed by the police in doing so - they flee to an abandoned warehouse, one at a time. To start off, the two crew members nicknamed "Mr. White" and "Mr. Orange" arrive at the warehouse, the latter of whom has been shot in the gut with a single revolver bullet, and is unable to function like a half-decent person due to the pain he has to bear. "Mr. Pink", "Mr. Blonde", "Nice Guy Eddie" and their employer "Joe Cabot" arrive subsequently. The movie depicts the conflicts that arise everytime a new member arrives at the warehouse; after all, they're suspicious of each other, since one of them must've informed the police about the robbery.
What I liked about the movie was the way the characters were gradually presented to the viewer. Every crew member new to the screen got their introduction through a snippet of backstory. The way this very achronologically-presented information unfolds, feels very organic. It gives the ever-so-flat characters the least of depth one could desire them to have. The humor and other interactions the crew members share is very coarse, though at the same time relatively relatable.
***THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS***
However, as I already mentioned in the start of this review, "Reservoir Dogs" has its -
sometimes very prominent - flaws.
Firstly, the quirk that made it even hard to watch at times, is how dragged out most scenes are. The opening scene is abnormally elongated with an argument about what Madonna's "Like a Virgin" is about, along with a lecture on why people should or shouldn't tip the waitress. One of the following scenes shows Mr. Orange having exaggerated spastic tendencies and bawling his eyes out for an eternity and a half whilst having the same back-and-forth with Mr. White multiple times ("I'm going to die" - "No, you're okay"). He passes out shortly after, and fills the role of prop for about the entire movie. Sometime after that, the audience gets to watch how Mr. Blonde tortures a kidnapped policeman for 7 whole minutes - way longer than being even remotely justifiable - which just gets annoying and stale, just like every other dragged out scene (which literally occurs every other scene).
Secondly, the anatomical realism in different situations doesn't add up at all: Mr. Orange's whole shirt is completely drenched in blood nearing the end of the movie, caused by a single shot wound in his abdomen that never really appears to stop bleeding. The pain this causes is apparently so enormous, he can only flail his limbs around, wail and pass out. This as opposed to the cop that gets tortured and mutilated into oblivion, even having one of his ears slashed right off, with barely any blood gushing from the gaping hole in his head. What's more, is that he's able to keep it all together after all this, having the ability to think and communicate more distinctly than Mr. Orange.
All that is without mentioning the one scene using a split-focus diopter (what were you thinking, Tarantino?!), the plot hole of Nice Guy Eddie getting shot without anyone pointing a gun at him, the dubious role of the police, the mediocre ending (although a movie like this couldn't really have a proper ending, I suppose), etc...
I would recommend to watch this movie for its cultural value, but I don't think it excels in any filmographic category.
Los delincuentes reciben los nombres código de Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino), Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) y Mr. Blue (Edward Bunker). Junto a ellos está Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn), el hijo de Joe, cerebro de la operación (interpetado por el veterano Lawrence Tierney).
Con una estructura fragmentada, la cinta de inicia con una divertida discusión sobre el verdadero significado de la canción "Like a Virgin" de Madonna y sobre si es una obligación dar propinas. Desde aquí pasamos a las desastrosas consecuencias del robo, las cuales incluyen sangre, traición, honor y una oreja mutilada al ritmo de "Stuck in the Middle with You" de Stealers Wheel.
Con influencias tan diversas como Stanley Kubrick, Sam Peckinpah o Akira Kurosawa, por nombrar las más obvias, el director Quentin Tarantino debuta con una energía descomunal, descargada en esta violenta historia llena de testosterona perteneciente al género "heist".
Aunque su historia es casi calcada de "City on Fire" de Ringo Lam, "Reservoir Dogs" se distingue gracias a unas fantásticas actuaciones, unos diálogos inmortales, un uso magistral de la banda sonora y un subtexto homoerótico sobre el honor entre ladrones. Todo un clásico de culto imperdible.