Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs ★★★★½

The inaugural Quentin Tarantino film that still holds its own, even after over 20 years. Tarantino takes the elements of a heist film and turns it into a nuanced critique on identity and masculinity. These characters are all very much representatives of the type of tough male masculine veneer that these white males would put on, spouting whatever is on their mind no matter how racist, homophobic or just plain asinine it is. Sure, all of it is well written and phenomenally delivered by the cast, but every word is still in support of the idea that these men speak to hide any sort of perceived weakness in themselves, always acting tough. Yet, when they do end up revealing their weaknesses, it's based on their own perceived self indulgence; the trust one has for a man they've just met over those they know; the trust in themselves to shoot a man they think did something on instinct; the trust in their abilities to get away with murdering a man just for sick pleasure. Even the characters perceived as the societal good have some sort of self-congratulatory in them, taking an animalistic sense of righteousness in killing those that have wronged them. All of this is wonderfully put to screen by Tarantino, who implements soundtrack choices that make these men nostalgic and displays their thought processes through deliberate dialogue & direction to show off the tough guy personas these criminals put on that lead them to nowhere. That's the point every Tarantino rip off of the 90s always failed to recognize; these guys may seem cool, but they're all really just thick headed animals by the end.

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