Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Produced by: Lawrence Bender
Former video store clerk Quentin Tarantino’s directorial debut, RESERVOIR DOGS, is a brutally funny, supercharged introduction to his supremely distinct cinematic vision, which was later to become one of the most mimicked styles of the 1990s. Mastermind Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) assembles a crew of top-notch criminals to pull off a jewelry store heist.
As the film opens it becomes immediately clear that the plan backfired, forcing the survivors, who have gathered at an abandoned warehouse, to figure out if one of them is, in fact, a police informer. The crew--Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), an aged veteran; Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), a wounded newcomer; Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), a psychopathic parolee; Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), a bickering weasel; and Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn), Joe’s son--begin to unravel as the pressure becomes too much for them to handle. When Joe arrives, the truth becomes clear in a vicious Mexican standoff.
Tarantino takes liberally from Hong Kong action flicks, most notably Ringo Lam’s CITY ON FIRE, but his ultra-hip ‘70s soundtrack and hysterical pop culture dialogue make the film seem wholly original and new. Taking a cue from the French New Wave--most notably Jean-Luc Godard--RESERVOIR DOGS remains one of the decade’s most influential motion pictures.
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