Film Review: Reservoir Dogs 4k Limited Edition

Alright ramblers, let’s get rambling”…

And so, how to review one of the most famous films that has ever existed, that came out twenty years ago, changed cinema forever, changed the director’s life forever, and is absolutely one of the most influential movies ever made, well, you don’t.

SO much has been (rightly) written about Reservoir Dogs (1992), the debut feature film by Quentin Tarantino that to add more to that pile does a fundamental disservice to the film itself, it’s stopping you from immediately turning around and pressing PLAY on your media of choice, it’s stopping you from jumping headfirst into one of the greatest opening presentations by a director EVER! It stops you from diving into one of the most visually stunning, memorable, quotable, best soundtrack and coolest iconic cinematic events ever pieced together, and that’s not a good thing for anyone concerned.

It’s not often all the accolades are justified, but Reservoir Dogs absolutely does command respect. It’s a laser guided missile of pure destructive conviction and focus of violent blood saturated vision, vicious razor cut culture dialogue, radiant vibrant framing, and safety/stand off performances, no one gets out alive, but it’s often said you will never feel more alive that just before it ends, so it only intensifies the experience.

Despite it’s fame, there are no doubt some folk who haven’t seen it, and we need to directly rectify that, and the new 4K release by Lionsgate is so on bullet point, it could have been scripted by Tarantino himself. It’s been decades since I watched the film, maybe once since being punched in the brain when watching it for the first time in the cinema, but when I pressed play on the disc, I was instantly rewound decades, I was sitting in awe, in that Dublin cinema once again, having my life changed. To say the disc looks great is an understatement, it is simply SPECTACULAR!!! I genuinely believe it looks and sounds better than when I saw it first, so sumptuous in colour, you can feel the warmth of the blood, the rainbow of colour that giddily/mischievously wraps the death, violence and carnage, like a scorpion chilli flavoured ice cream cone.

There may have been the smallest of budgets in it’s creation, but there’s infinite wealth in the words and story telling. As expansive the luscious waltz of pop parlance, the story is a single flipping coin in simplicity, a heist goes bad… heads you lose, tails you lose.

Like cornered wounded animals, silhouettes of death, with colourful names rage with questions of what has gone wrong, as we sit in the ever increasing slow boiling pot with them, being cooked alive.

It still packs the intense potency as the first time I saw it, despite it having subsequently inspiring whole new genres, the purity of it being the big bang is self evident. What is a fascinating addition is the extras that show you what was cut out (or off), and that becomes very apparent in how much it would have changed the film if it was left in, it would no longer be the scalpel it is recognised for, it would have bludgeoned the body, diluted the stock, thinned the blood, lowered the bar, rather than raising. What is very clear is that the right decisions were made for it release.

I’ve deliberately not given details about actors etc, as EVERYONE should go in for the first time, or once again in a long time, as cold as possible. Tarantino may have gone on to make more successful movies since this, but this is his best movie. Before the success, the money, the power, the experience, the ability, this was created out of raw feral desire, rabid necessity to survive, and it’s in every fibre of this film. It goes for the jugular, and it’s not letting go.

Reservoir Dogs is available now on limited edition 4K UHD, plus Blu-ray SteelBook from Lionsgate UK.

Steve Clarke

Born in Celtic lands, nurtured in art college, trained by the BBC, inspired by Hunter S. Thompson and released onto the battlefront of all things interesting/inspiring/good vibes... people, movies, music, clubbing, revolution, gigs, festivals, books, art, theatre, painting and trying to find letters on keyboards in the name of flushthefashion. Making sure it's not quite on the western front... and beyond.