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Reservoir Dogs (4K Review)

3 min read


One thing you can't accuse of is subtlety. burst onto the scene in 1993 paving the way for one of the more controversial auteurs of recent years. You could easily take issue with a white, middle class, male director who mixes huge amounts of racism and misogyny into his stories. His stories are inherently masculine, violent and exploitational… and fun as hell. Reservoir Dogs is no different.

Of course, we don't know how many films Tarantino has in him, originally claiming he would only ever make ten films in his career. Thankfully for his fans, he has a charming but self-indulgent habit of moving his own self-imposed goalposts. It's quite funny really, were he to make an eleventh it's unlikely anyone would hold it against him. Simply being glad of his own bizarre ultraviolent take on some other period of history.


His earliest films were more subtle affairs, with Reservoir Dogs perhaps being the smallest. Play-like in scope, the majority of the story takes place in one room, with a The Thing like approach to paranoia amongst a group of men.

Unlike The Thing though, the audience spends the majority of the runtime aware of who the undercover cop is, it's blindingly obvious when you think about it. But it doesn't really matter.

The whole point of Reservoir Dogs, and its simple plot was to give Tarantino an opportunity to display his skills at writing dialogue. It certainly does that.

Almost every actor is given the chance to monologue, telling a rude or amusing anecdote to expand their characterisation. And what a cast it is, , and are at the top of their games. With very little backstory you are completely clear of who these men are, Keitel in particular manages to give clear impression of a man who lives by a strict moral compass despite his criminal proclivities. 's Mr Blonde forges a terrifying and cold silhouette as the guy who seems as fond of killing as he is stealing.


There are no new bonus features included on this release unfortunately, none on the 4k disc at all and those included on the Blu-ray are already available on the original Blu-ray release. So really in this instance any purchase it for the upgraded picture quality and the . The picture itself looks stunning. If it wasn't obvious that the cast are thirty years younger than they are now, you could easily say it was filmed this year. The transfer is clean as a whistle and the detail is impeccable, especially considering the low budget it was originally made for. You could say that this is an advert for older films on 4k, particularly if you haven't seen them for a while… you might be surprised what background details you didn't spot on your old VHS copy!

Reservoir Dogs allowed Tarantino to establish himself, and his writing style before anyone knew who he was. Although the racism is hard to swallow at times, with certain words we really aren't used to hearing casually and nor should we, the script is utterly iconic. It does make you flinch though, as it should. Considering how far Tarantino has come since this film, and the reputation he has created for himself, it's an excellent one to go back to.

Reservoir Dogs is on 4K UHD + Blu-ray SteelBook 21 November from Lionsgate UK