Reservoir Dogs

Year: 1992
Production Co: Dog Eat Dog Productions
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Producer: Lawrence Bender
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Quentin Tarantino, Lawrence Tierney
Has there been a more auspicious arrival on the Hollywood stage in the last few decades? Hard to believe, but Quentin Tarantino's own Citizen Kane is now 25 years old as I write this review.

If you've never seen the movie, you have no right to call yourself a movie fan. Go and get it immediately so you don't embarrass yourself among cinephile friends. To say it's about the aftermath of a robbery gone wrong is like saying Chinatown is a detective thriller and Star Wars a movie about aliens.

As concerned with cinematic style as he was with telling a story, Tarantino referenced so many styles, galvanised them, made them his own and introduced them to a new generation of moviegoers. Everything from the choice of music on the soundtrack to the camera angles, the casual, almost comical use of bloodshed and violence, pitch-perfect casting and a new take on dialogue we'd never seen before gives the film a unique stamp.

We don't see the robbery. We see a little of the planning, and then we see Mr White (Keitel) and Mr Orange (Roth) driving from the scene, the latter bleeding all over the back seat and in agony.

They arrive at the warehouse rendezvous point and as more of the scattered crew arrive, they try to work out what went wrong while trying to avoid killing each other in the process.

It returns to the past a few times to introduce the characters and flesh out the story, and in the style we've come to expect and love from QT, every word, every frame and every step is nuanced, polished and perfectly crafted exploitation trash.

Yes he became ubiquitous afterward, yes he's been endlessly copied and he remains a godlike figure for aspiring filmmakers everywhere, but you have to respect a guy who takes the ideas of every crappy genre of movies and elevates them to Oscar-worthy cinematic storytelling.

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