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Netflix Review: Reservoir Dogs

By Dan Zambito senior Writer
On February 6, 2012

Blood, guns, gangsters, cops and more blood await those who watch Reservoir Dogs. The directorial debut of Quentin Tarantino offers its fair share of excitement in this crime drama.

Reservoir Dogs tells the story of six gangsters who become involved in a failed diamond heist. It becomes clear to them someone on their team is an undercover cop. The others try to find out who it is before they end up dead or in prison.

The story is told in a non-linear format, a move that has since become a Tarantino film trademark. This allows for the revealing of the characters' backgrounds at several points in the film.

The format also adds an element of unpredictability to the film because certain plot points would be ruined for the audience if the film were told in the traditional linear format.

The film offers levity from the bloodshed through a series of amusing anecdotes. The dialogue Tarantino wrote is unique in that the characters argue over the most obscure and random topics.  It's like an episode of Seinfeld, but the characters are all criminals.

The film opens with the gangsters arguing in a diner over the meaning behind the Madonna song "Like a Virgin."  When it comes time to tip the waitress, Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) refuses to leave one. Mr. Pink then goes into a long-winded explanation about why he never tips and protests which jobs society deems "tip-worthy."

"You don't feel the need to tip the people who work at McDonald's do you?" Mr. Pink explains. "But why not? They are serving you food. Society says, ‘Tip these people, but don't tip these people.'  That's bulls**t!"

The brutal violence is brought to life through a great acting performance by Tim Roth, who plays Mr. Orange, who is shot in the stomach early in the film.  

For the rest of the film, he's left in a pool of his own blood as he slowly dies from his wound.  

Mr. Orange exerts a great amount of squealing, grunting and slurred speech from his blood loss. Roth does a great job showing the fear in Mr. Orange's eyes and body language as he is approaching death.

There's an infamous torture scene in this film that can be difficult to watch.  But unlike the Saw films, it's not added for gratuitous reasons. It advances the plot of the film and is a crucial turning point for one character.

Reservoir Dogs manages to be an above-average crime drama, but it falls just short of being a classic film.

Tarantino put forth great effort for a first-time director with a low budget. More importantly, Reservoir Dogs is as entertaining today as it was when it was released 20 years ago.

3.5 Stars

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