Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs ★★★★★

Perhaps the most horrifically ripped off film of the 1990s, it is sometimes hard to imagine what it would have been like to see Reservoir Dogs in '92. There is, of course, truth to the idea that Tarantino himself is a cinematic poacher. He sees things he likes, snips them out, and pastes them down in a beautiful collage. But there are also elements, seen most crystal clearly here, that are utterly him. So many elements that would be xeroxed over and over and over by lesser directors trying to emulate the same blend of cool and nerdiness. The failure of each and every one of these post-Tarantino films give the most torturously cringe-inducing results. Yet Reservoir Dogs remains outrageously good. Every scene here, every line, is so iconic. It's been years since rewatching this, yet my buried teenage memories were still able to muster up every second of it. This most certainly feels like a first film, a kind of rambunctious student film vibe, but that only makes it all the more engaging and exciting. Even watching this without its cultural significance in mind, its production boggles the mind. The jaw-dropping cast, the perfectly selected music, the long takes, the still shocking violence and gunplay. There are few debuts as telling in their announcement of a cinematic force to be reckoned with. While I would love future Tarantino efforts more, Reservoir Dogs remains my sentimental favourite.