Reservoir Dogs (1992)
IMDB Rating 8.4/10 99 min - Rated 18 Crime | Drama
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen Director: Quentin Tarantino
This amazing debut film came about when Quentin Tarantino, then one of LA's many struggling actor-writers, met Harvey Keitel's wife at a screenwriting class. She read the script, passed it to Harvey and the rest is cinematic history. Five strangers, known only by pseudonym colours, are recruited to rob a diamond merchant. When the heist goes bad, the suspicious dogs try to identify the rat in the pack. Unlike most heist movies, the actual robbery is not central to the plot and is not shown until near the end of the film. In what has become trademark Tarantino style, some wonderful writing and editing shows the action, not chronologically, but in flashbacks and cuts forward. This technique of simultaneously developing different strands of the plot makes what is actually a very simple story seem vastly more complex. Amid the accusations and increasingly violent recriminations that follow the heist, the tension builds to a wonderful standoff and shocking climax. Some critics vilified Tarantino for packaging as uber-cool a film with so much sadism, bloodshed and depravity. However, while parts of the film are undeniably shocking, much of the gore is so over-stylized as to be unbelievable. A career defining performance from Michael Madsen, alongside the talents of Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi, give this film a weight that most independent filmmakers can only dream of. The sharp dialogue. and a too-cool-for-school soundtrack combine to give an originality and style which would inspire countless copies and set Tarantino on his way to becoming one of Hollywood's big players.