Review: Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Tarantino's Reservoir Dog is as good as it gets for a first time feature film director

‘I actually think one of my strengths is my storytelling’ Quentin Tarantino modestly states; modest because his first feature film, Reservoir Dogs, has, since its release in 1992, managed to achieve cult status and feature in countless iconic film compilation lists. Not bad for a film that originally had a $30,000 budget.

After going to extensive measures to remain complete strangers in order to ensure they commit the perfect crime, a group of criminals suffer a severe blow when their jewellery heist is raided by police. The surviving criminals begin to suspect each other of foul play and the tension frays their already weathered nerves. The characters, alongside the well structured dialogue-led scenes, are perhaps what have made the film iconic; Steve Buscemi’s Mr. Pink’s cagey scepticism plays well against the trusting Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) whilst Michael Madson’s Mr. Blonde provides a harrowing glimpse of cruelty in the film’s torture scene.

The opening scene and its discussion of Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ is evidence of Tarantino’s masterful screenwriting power. Playing Mr. Brown, Tarantino gets to breathe life into the conversation. Mr. Pink’s outburst at the idea of having to pay their waitress a tip, although spawned from a relatively trivial issue, is both intuitive and evocative of his character. The relationship forged between Mr. White and the heavily wounded Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) is memorable and you will find yourself greatly empathising with both.

The film never suffers from being Tarantino’s first feature, instead taking this into its stride in order to create something that was, and more importantly still is, fresh and visually appealing. Its temporal shifts, camera techniques and episodic titling all give the film the unique Tarantino feel. When coupled with the soundtrack (which, coincidently features no original score), the film is distinctly Tarantino-esque. The film is a must-see for all film lovers.

Best bit: The dialogue as a whole.
Best performance: Although the cast is beautifully casted, it’s toss-up between Tim Roth’s Mr. Orange or Buscemi’s Mr. Pink.
Best line: Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino): ‘Yeah but Mr. Brown? That’s a little too close to Mr. Shit.’
The word ‘fuck’ appears 272 times throughout the film.
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