Watch Reservoir Dogs
- 1 hr 38 min
Reservoir Dogs is a crime thriller directed and written by Quentin Tarantino, which was released in 1992. The story revolves around a group of professional thieves who take up a robbery job that goes awry. The robbery is meticulously planned, and each criminal is given a color-coded pseudonym to maintain their anonymity, but unfortunately, they are caught in a cross-fire with the police, leading to a bloodbath.
Harvey Keitel plays Mr. White, the veteran criminal and muscle of the team, who recruits Tim Roth's character, Mr. Orange, for the heist. Mr. Orange is an undercover cop who has infiltrated the gang, and his job is to gather intelligence for the authorities' investigation. Michael Madsen portrays the ruthless and sadistic Mr. Blonde, who is feared by even his fellow robbers. Steve Buscemi plays Mr. Pink, an alarmingly pragmatic and cautious individual who is suspicious about the heist's setup.
The opening scene sets the tone for the entire movie, as eight professional criminals sit in a diner, sipping coffee and debating about the ethics of giving waitresses tips. The discussion is witty and sharp, giving the audience a peek into the characters' minds and motives. Here, Tarantino's style of focusing on dialogue and character development is evident, and he employs it throughout the movie.
The pacing of the movie is non-linear, with the story jumping back and forth between the robber's preparation for the heist and the aftermath of the robbery. The result is an intriguing and unique narrative structure that adds to the element of suspense and unpredictability of the story. The audience is given no clues about how the robbery went wrong, and Tarantino deliberately keeps the details vague and obscured.
The principal strength of Reservoir Dogs is the way it depicts the characters. Each of them is unique, and the performances of all the actors are remarkable. Harvey Keitel, in particular, portrays the calm and steady Mr. White, a man who is conflicted about his loyalty to his criminal colleagues and his compassion for Mr. Orange, who is fighting for his life after the botched robbery.
Tim Roth delivers one of his most memorable performances as Mr. Orange, and his acting intensifies as he writhes in pain on the floor of the safe-house in a pool of his blood. His story is told mostly in flashbacks leading up to the heist, so there's a great deal of pathos in his character, as the audience comes to know his backstory and emotional investments.
Michael Madsen's Mr. Blonde is terrifying and magnetic, especially in the standalone torture scene, one of the most iconic scenes of the movie. Though the scene's violence is extreme, the camera deviates, and the sound of the torture and song "Stuck in the Middle with You" by Stealers Wheel provides a deep sense of unease and tension. Madsen's portrayal of psychopathic indifference is chilling, and the scene itself is both disturbing and cringeworthy.
The dialogue is sharp, witty, and peppered with pop culture references, which became a hallmark of Tarantino's movies. The characters spend several memorable scenes discussing Madonna's "Like a Virgin" music video's meaning, their opinion on tipping waitresses, and the initiation scene which involves struggling to remember the lyrics of "Like a Virgin."
The movie's cinematography by Andrezej Sekula involves alternating between wide-angle and close-up shots, highlighting each character's reactions and facial expressions. The visuals add depth to the characters and emphasizes the significance of every detail in the movie.
The film's soundtrack includes memorable songs like "Little Green Bag" by the George Baker Selection and "Coconut" by Harry Nilsson. The film's usage of classic songs to accompany such disturbing scenes, like Mr. Blonde's sour treat of a police officer, gives it a darkly comic vibe.
In conclusion, Reservoir Dogs is a masterclass in storytelling, character development, and pacing. It's the movie that launched Tarantino's illustrious career as a filmmaker, and it's still considered a classic crime thriller 29 years after its release. With its raunchy dialogue, memorable soundtrack, and riveting performances, it is a movie that deserves to be watched and re-watched.
Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 38 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.3 and a MetaScore of 81.