Movie Review: ‘Reservoir Dogs’

JagWire editors-in-chief Tanner Smith and Hannah Chern review the 1992 film ‘Reservoir Dogs’

Movie Review: ‘Reservoir Dogs’

Tanner Smith and Hannah Chern

Continuing with our theme of watching Tarantino movies, we decided to watch one of the movies that first put Quentin Tarantino on the map: “Reservoir Dogs.” The 1992 classic follows the story of a jewelry heist gone wrong and the events leading up to and following the robbery. While the movie is not for everyone — with a heavy dose of violence, language, and a downright disturbing scene — “Reservoir Dogs” is a really well done action movie with a dialogue-driven story.

Tanner: 4.5/5

I’m not one to say I love a movie, but this movie feels like the exception. I LOVED this movie. It definitely has some flaws — especially when it comes to the often confusing nature of how the story was told — but that doesn’t change the fact of how well put together this movie is. For starters, the dialogue was masterfully put together. It is really rare to find an action movie that is so grounded in dialogue but this — and many other Tarantino movies — truly is. As for the action itself, it is very well placed. Sure, it is without question over the top, but even so I never found myself being taken out of the movie because of it. The gritty nature of the movie helps to really keep the story feel realistic and makes the story even more compelling. As for the characters, I can’t really complain. I will concede that there is really not a lot of character development in this movie, but it really didn’t seem to matter. It really felt like Tarintino told you what you needed to know about these characters and nothing more. I mean for crying out loud the movie is only about 100 minutes long, yet it gives one of the most nuanced stories I have ever seen. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for excisional background for ancillary characters. In addition, Tarantino did a great job of balancing action, humor, and even music to keep the viewer engaged. The song “Stuck in the Middle With You” will forever be etched into my brain for reasons I’ll leave you to explore if you watch it. Although this movie is rough, odd, and definitely not for everyone, it combines dialogue with action in a way that makes it a great movie. 

Hannah: 4/5

Another day, another Tarantino movie. I wasn’t the one to choose the movie; in fact, I’ve never heard the name of the movie. I went into tonight’s movie only expecting a violent action movie because that’s the nature of Tarantino movies. As the film began, I was confused as to what was happening. Names and faces were all unknown, so I had a hard time grasping what was happening. However, I found as the movie progressed, my confusion turned into me trying to figure out a mystery: who is the “rat,” or in other words, the undercover cop? As the movie progressed, I found myself putting together the pieces as each character got their own scenes, showing a little background of them. Typically, the dialogue of a movie helps build the traits of a person, but the way Tarantino split the scenes to show each person was what helped me grasp onto the concept of the plot. To execute this, Tarantino had the plot develop backwards: the movie opens with a case of a robbery, but it works its way back to the formation of the robbery crew. I applaud the uniqueness of the way Tarantino builds the plot in his movies. However, I am still not a big fan of violent movies. This movie did not do justice for my likings because it was filled with gore and explicit language that made me cringe. Even though I don’t enjoy violence-based movies, it is what I was expecting from a Tarantino film, so I put the majority of my focus into the plot. Despite the nature of the film, I enjoyed following the plot and being able to form my own thoughts and ideas as it went along.

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