|RESERVOIR DOGS (1992)|
|"All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you aren't going to get."|
|Time: 100 mins.|
An impressive directorial debut that takes viewers on an intense ride that pulls no punches. Tarantino's not the best thing since sliced bread, but he sure does know how to make a well-made piece of celluloid. At least he did before he became the hottest young thing to hit Hollywood. This film has everything you've come to expect from Quentin shady characters, violent crime, and great dialogue. Only Tarantino would make a film about a bank heist where you never see the actual robbery. It's a cheeky premise that works like gangbusters. Why bore the audience with tired footage we've seen a million times before? Here, all the drama takes place before and after the job. Our "heroes" are recruited by a man we never meet and forced to trust each other with their lives.
Our crew meets each other in a coffee shop to put the final touches on the plan. To protect their true identities, they are all given a color as their last name Mr. Pink, Mr. Blue, Mr. Black, etc. That way, in case things go wrong, they can't rat out anyone else. What they don't yet realize is one of their number is an undercover cop. Though we don't see the robbery, it's clear once they return to the safe location, that things did not go according to plan. Guns are drawn and tempers flair as they try to uncover the rat in their midst. Things get not only tense, but bloody as mistrust and anger bounces off the walls. Since none of them knows the others, anyone could be the target. These men are career criminals and none of them is about to go quietly to the big house. What began as a simple job, is now a fight for their lives and freedom. It comes down to who to trust and who to blow away.
This is not an overly violent film, by what violence it does contain is pretty gruesome. Like PULP FICTION, the action is overt and extreme, but necessary to the plot. If you do a film about criminals, someone is bound to get killed. When all of your characters are from the wrong side of the tracks, one can only expect total mayhem and bloodshed. However, Tarantino knows exactly how far to go and what buttons to push. His films are hyper-stylized, tension-filled roller coaster rides. Though most of the action in RESERVOIR DOGS takes place in a warehouse, I gaurantee you'll be on the edge of your seat, gripped with anticipation. Because his scripts have such flair and intelligence, Tarantino always manages to get the best actors to be in his films. Roth and Keitel will take your breath away. Without them, this film would be a quaint, interesting little picture. Every word out of their mouths is meaningful and mesmerizing. They may have had a great script to work with, but without such brilliant performances who would care?
No one creates cool like Quentin. He captured magic in a bottle with this film, that he only made better with PULP FICTION. He's a master storyteller, able to weave numerous characters and plotlines into a cohesive, engaging experience. Why he chose to pursue an acting career instead of sticking with the profession where his true talent clearly lies is a mystery. RESERVOIR DOGS may have been a small picture, but it delivers in a big way. A film worthy of its hype.