Reservoir Dogs

Dir: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen

I hadn't seen this since its first appearance at the London Film Festival, more than a decade ago, during which time Tarantino's star has risen and fallen, and an entire genre of similarly-styled films has been created. Even taking the whole City on Fire ripoff thing as read, the film follows much the same pattern as the rest of QT's career. Moments of genuine brilliance, alternate with exasperating self-indulgence such as the meaningless title, and you can't help wondering what a better director than Quentin might have done with the material.

There really isn't much story to relate, which might explain both the fractured structure (an effort to add depth to a simplistic plot, see also Pulp Fiction), and the need for tedious drivel debating the meaning of Madonna songs - though I agree with Mister Pink about tipping. A diamond robbery goes wrong, the resulting paranoia bringing on a high body count. The most effective moments for me aren't things like the ear-slicing; try Tim Roth's fabricated tale of going to the bathroom with a bagful of drugs, only to encounter four cops and a police-dog. It helps that the actors are all perfect, and the casting director deserves as much credit as Tarantino - Buscemi is particularly outstanding. More influential than successful (not even $3m at the US box office), and more respected than great, yet the fine performances rescue material that is nothing special.


The dogs of woe
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