Reservoir Dogs

Bomb Rating: 

This film does have a serious upside: Tarantino the actor doesn't survive the first ten minutes. Killing himself off may be the most accomplished thing Tarantino's ever done as a writer/director.

What the hell is a reservoir dog? The only reservoirs I've ever seen are those man-made lakes out in the middle of suburbia where obese suburbanites go with their chubby children and pretend they're on vacation. Typically they don't bring a dog, but when they do, it's usually of the mangy, desperately stupid variety that runs around digging holes in the faux beach to crap in. The kids then take their plastic shovels and plastic buckets and dig up the dog doo, which they run to present as "treasure" to their proud parents, who view it as irrefutable evidence that their spawn are indeed "gifted."

That Generation X's love child would burden me with this confusion was a definite strike against him. While there was a certain amount of awe surrounding this film when it was released, subsequent Quentin Tarantino films revealed his simple formula: 1) violent guys who alternate between discussing pop culture and killing people; 2) amusing stories about "niggers"; 3) a commercially viable soundtrack cranked up to "11."

However, this film does have a serious upside: Tarantino the actor doesn't survive the first ten minutes. Killing himself off may be the most accomplished thing Tarantino's ever done as a writer/director. This leaves Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) and the injured Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) at the rendezvous site wondering what went wrong with their diamond heist. Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) shows up with a cop for a hostage, followed by nice guy Eddie (Chris Penn).

Making his contribution to the decline of western civilization, Tarantino entertains by making light of people being butchered. Does Quentin have anything useful to say in this film -- or any of his films for that matter? Of course not. He's ripped off Hong Kong cinema and blaxploitation films and determined that entertainment equals irony plus blood. That this formula has been accepted as a new standard is a sad commentary on our society.

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