Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1990s Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

An experienced crime boss, Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney), and his son (Nice Guy Eddie) hire six thieves to pull off a robbery of a diamond wholesaler.

The men don’t know each other, and they are assigned code names: Mr White, Mr Orange, Mr Pink, Mr Blonde, Mr Brown and Mr Blue. Thus if one gets caught, he can’t rat out any of the others.

Things do not go as planned. One of the crooks is actually an undercover cop and the group walk into a police ambush.

reservoirdogs_012

After a bloody shootout, they escape, scatter and rendezvous later at a pre-assigned location in a warehouse to contemplate their next move and try to figure out which of them was a rat.

The movie is a masterpiece of structure, artfully using digressive storytelling while sustaining momentum, continuity and style to an effective climax. The use of the single location is reminiscent of theatre staging.

Reservoir Dogs recognises that the “who’s the mole?” plot device can only be sustained for so long. Hence once it is revealed, a series of flashbacks follow involving the cop preparing himself for the assignment and ingratiating himself into the confidence of the group.

reservoirdogs_022

The performances are top notch. Steve Buscemi is wonderfully creepy and manic as Mr Pink. It’s also a pleasure to see veteran character actor Laurence Tierney on the screen again, this time as Joe Cabot.

Michael Madsen delivers one Bad MoFo performance as Vic Vega (aka Mr Blonde), a devil-may-care sociopath.

resdogs

After watching his most graphic scene you will never listen to the Stealers Wheel song Stuck In The Middle With You the same way again.

It is Harvey Keitel and Tim Roth who give the film its most touching edge. The relationship between Keitel and Roth has a transcendent element – the bosses may have protected against betrayal, but not loyalty.

Keitel’s Larry ‘Mr White’ Dimmick develops a very paternal relationship to Tim Roth’s mortally wounded Mr Orange (real name Freddy Newandyke), creating a trust and honour to protect him at any cost that is challenged in the film’s climax.

Reservoir Dogs is a strong character-driven film. Ironically it is writer/director Quentin Tarantino who gives the least compelling performance (as Mr Brown).

Mr White (Larry Dimmick)
Harvey Keitel
Mr Orange (Freddy Newandyke)

Tim Roth 
Mr Blonde (Vic Vega)

Michael Madsen
‘Nice Guy’ Eddie Cabot

Chris Penn
Mr Pink

Steve Buscemi 
Joe Cabot

Lawrence Tierney 
Mr Blue 

Eddie Bunker
Mr Brown

Quentin Tarantino 
Holdaway

Randy Brooks 
Officer Marvin Nash

Kirk Baltz 
K-Billy DJ (voice)

Steven Wright 
Teddy

Michael Sottile

Director
Quentin Tarantino

Video