A caper flick, seen in aftermath. Brilliant.
Okay, this movie is fourteen years old, so I’m not going to bother to post a second review. But if you haven’t seen it, this review contains SPOILERS and I would hate to ruin any of it for you. So PLEASE go rent it, watch it…then come back and read the review.
This was the movie that made Tarantino a big name. And deservedly so.
Firstly, the cast is full of people who are in lots of his movies, and who (then) were known, but not NEARLY as well known as they are now: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi and Chris Penn, among others. What a great cast. And they are all at the top of their form.
In typical Tarantino style, the main characters are lowlife hoods. They are planning a heist at a jewelry store, and the movie shows the leadup and aftermath, but not the act itself…because the viewer eventually finds out everything he needs to know about that. You also have to put the story together yourself, a technique used later in Pulp Fiction, and brilliantly in both cases.
A gangster movie where the viewer actually has to THINK AND PAY ATTENTION to make sense of the plot? Unheard of! until Tarantino did it.
But the characters and their interactions are the real prize here…amazingly well drawn characters, distinct and interesting, each brought to life through a gesture, a look or a few seconds of dialogue, and some of them have secrets to hide that are not found out until later. I have to admit, the razor blade scene was almost too much for me, I was just about to look away (even the second time I saw it, recently) when the camera cut away instead. This is much more serious and believeable than Pulp Fiction, and so seems more violent…but again, classy, intelligent, and very worth watching.
Mr. Otter and I had a spirited discussion about whether Buschemi gets away at the end…Mr. Otter thinks he does, but I think the cops showed up so soon that they must have caught him. Coem on over, we’ll watch it again and debate it…