Saturday, 14 January 2012

Film Review: RESERVOIR DOGS (1992)

Reservoir Dogs - poster Co-Writer/Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writers: Quentin Tarantino & Roger Avary (Background radio dialogue)
Running time: 99 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

Genre: Crime/Thriller/Mystery
UK Release date: 15th January 1993

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 14th January 2012.


Lauded by many, despised by a few, it’s been a long time since I saw ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and I have to come clean… I didn’t really rate it first time around. So I thought it was time I gave it another shot since it aired on TV (again) recently. How did it fair this time around? Well I’ll tell you after this brief summary.

Reservoir Dogs - 1 A jewellery heist has gone wrong and the perpetrators make their way back to a pre-arranged rendezvous, a warehouse. The cops knew about the robbery and they have a traitor in their midst. To keep themselves anonymous, Joe, the organiser of the heist had given them all names of colours. Mr Brown and Mr Blue were both killed during the heist and Mr Orange is injured. He and Mr White are the first to arrive, soon followed by Mr Pink. Later Mr Blonde turns up with a surprise in the trunk of his car… a cop. They start beating up on the cop trying to find out if he knows who betrayed them, but he knows nothing. Nice Guy Eddie, Joe’s son, turns up next and tells them to move the cars; leaving the psychotic Mr Blonde with the injured Mr Orange and the cop. At this point I’ll leave it or the Spoiler Police (Tarantino Division) will have me making films with scenes stolen from just about every film I’ve ever seen (again).

Reservoir Dogs - 4 I must admit I do like the rough style with which this film is made, there seems to be a lot of ad-libbing from the actors and, for the most part, it works pretty well. There are flashbacks telling us how some of the major players got involved in the job and these (to me) are more interesting than some of the stuff going on in the warehouse. As far as performances go, well Harvey Keitel as Mr. White - Larry Dimmick, Tim Roth as Mr. Orange - Freddy Newandyke, Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde - Vic Vega and Steve Buscemi as Mr. Pink all did an excellent job. Honourable mentions also go to; Chris Penn as Nice Guy Eddie Cabot and Lawrence Tierney as Joe Cabot.

Reservoir Dogs - 5 As with many of Tarantino’s works there is an awful lot of dialogue (just see my ‘Favourite Quotes’ section below for a taster). This, I find can be both confusing and distracting if not properly choreographed with what the audience is watching. Two talking heads in a room can get pretty uninteresting after a while and this is what you get in some scenes. There is no incidental music, the only music we here is from the radio that always plays hits from the ‘70’s. For me second time around?... Well I can see some good things in there, but not enough for me to rave about it. I will deem it ‘Recommended’ but only for these good points (about three quarters of the way through… the back-story of Mr. Orange… definitely NOT the torture scene).

My score: 7.8/10.

IMDb Score: 8.4/10 (based on 277,019 votes at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 96/100 (based on 48 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 93/100 (based on 381,822 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

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Reservoir Dogs - 6 FAVOURITE QUOTES: (WARNING: Strong Language)
Nice Guy Eddie: Did you see that, daddy?
Joe: What?
Nice Guy Eddie: That guy got me on the ground and he tried to fuck me.
Mr. Blonde: You wish.
Nice Guy Eddie: Listen, Vic. Whatever you wanna do in the privacy of your own home, go do it. But don't try to fuck me in my father's office - I don't think of you that way. I like you a lot man, but I don't think of you that way.
Mr. Blonde: Eddie, if I was a butt cowboy, I wouldn't even throw you to the posse.
Nice Guy Eddie: Of course not, you'd keep me for yourself, you sick bastard. Four years of fuckin' punks up the ass you'd appreciate a piece of prime rib when you see one.

Mr. Orange: What happens if the manager won't give you the diamonds?
Mr. White: When you're dealing with a store like this, they're insured up the ass. They're not supposed to give you any resistance whatsoever. If you get a customer, or an employee, who thinks he's Charles Bronson, take the butt of your gun and smash their nose in. Everybody jumps. He falls down screaming, blood squirts out of his nose, nobody says fucking shit after that. You might get some bitch talk shit to you, but give her a look like you're gonna smash her in the face next, watch her shut the fuck up. Now if it's a manager, that's a different story. Managers know better than to fuck around, so if you get one that's giving you static, he probably thinks he's a real cowboy, so you gotta break that son of a bitch in two. If you wanna know something and he won't tell you, cut off one of his fingers. The little one. Then tell him his thumb's next. After that he'll tell you if he wears ladies underwear. I'm hungry. Let's get a taco.

Reservoir Dogs - 3 Mr. Pink: Hey, why am I Mr. Pink?
Joe: Because you're a faggot.
Mr. Pink: Why can't we pick our own colors?
Joe: No way, no way. Tried it once, doesn't work. You got four guys all fighting over who's gonna be Mr. Black, but they don't know each other, so nobody wants to back down. No way. I pick. You're Mr. Pink. Be thankful you're not Mr. Yellow.
Mr. Brown: Yeah, but Mr. Brown is a little too close to Mr. Shit.
Mr. Pink: Mr. Pink sounds like Mr. Pussy. How 'bout if I'm Mr. Purple? That sounds good to me. I'll be Mr. Purple.
Joe: You're not Mr. Purple. Some guy on some other job is Mr. Purple. Your Mr. PINK.
Mr. White: Who cares what your name is?
Mr. Pink: Yeah, that's easy for your to say, you're Mr. White. You have a cool-sounding name. Alright look, if it's no big deal to be Mr. Pink, you wanna trade?
Joe: Hey! NOBODY'S trading with ANYBODY. This ain't a goddamn, fucking city council meeting, you know. Now listen up, Mr. Pink. There's two ways you can go on this job: my way or the highway. Now what's it gonna be, Mr. Pink?
Mr. Pink: Jesus Christ, Joe, fucking forget about it. It's beneath me. I'm Mr. Pink. Let's move on.
Joe: I'll move on when I feel like it... All you guys got the goddamn message?... I'm so goddamn mad, hollering at you guys I can hardly talk. Pssh. Let's go to work.

(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)

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