Reservoir Dogs

Heist Gone Bad? Shoot Everyone.

Main Cast: Harvey Keitel, Chris Penn, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi

Director: Quentin Tarantino

In the tradition of gangster movies, this one is bloody. Very bloody, but mostly (not always) we see them shooting each other rather than innocents or cops. This happens when nerves are frayed and a job goes horribly wrong. Quentin Tarantino has pulled off a tight little mystery, namely: why did the robbery go wrong, and is there a mole within the team?

But first we get to see a normal conversation around a table in a small diner. Just the guys talking about movies and girls, they could be anyone, normal businessmen. Only when they leave, and we take one of many time jumps forward, do we see that these are not normal folk, but robbers and/or gangsters. Each has been assigned a code name by the powerful, bulldog Joe, and he explains why in an amusing monologue while briefing them on the heist. “Mr. Pink” will have to keep his name.

The action takes mostly in a warehouse where the robbers filter in to hide after the job goes sour. There, they confront each other with the question: what happened? And is there a snitch? There has to be, “Mr. Pink” explains, but the identity of said mole is up for debate, according to “Mr. White.” In setting up the personalities of the members we get a few time jumps back and forth, detailing when and where they were pulled into the job. Not too hard to follow, just be aware that it happens. In any case, it all ends in the warehouse, although not in a way any of them had wished.

This is darn good entry into the genre, both following a set pattern and also adding nice little twists and turns unique to Mr. Tarantino’s expertise in writing. And, as ever, I very much enjoy watching Steve Buscemi in any movie. Definitely a keeper!

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