Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs ★★★★½

That mortuary is still one of the more iconic locations in movies. I don’t think I caught what it was the first time I watched Reservoir Dogs, and I think that’s because there’s just enough of the building’s original purpose left over without being too clumsy with visual cues. The drains, the industrial sink, the leftover containers of fluid. Best of all, the loading dock, Mr. Orange bleeding out on the ramp to Heaven. The action leaves the rendezvous point from time to time, but the mortuary and its sense of the inevitable are the center of this film. Very effective use by a then-new filmmaker. 

Everything’s been covered already with this one, but I always think of it when anyone decides to cast aspersions on Quentin Tarantino. He’s gone on in later years to add more and more of his personality into his projects, sometimes to the point of self-indulgence. But everything that makes his films what they are is present already in Reservoir Dogs. The fantastic ear for dialogue, the respect for his acting talent, his 1970s cinema world. What makes this film good is still good in every single one of his other films, to lesser and greater extents. 

Helping to bring this into the world might not be Harvey Keitel’s greatest achievement, but it’s up there.

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