A brash, brutal crime-caper film, Reservoir Dogs has enough raw energy for 10 motion pictures and more than enough rough stuff to traumatize the sensitive. But not only does Dogs have teeth, it has brains.
The film ends without a satisfying resolution, since these characters are so ugly only an agonizing affliction would qualify as just deserts. Crime doesn't exactly pay in this case, but it doesn't cost enough either.
Perhaps it's a bit too knowing in places, and perhaps it packs in one pop cultural reference too many, but this is an in-your-face, look-at-me kind of debut, designed to function as the calling-card of a major new talent.
This movie is not for everybody. It's for hardly anybody. Fans of this kind of paperback-style bloodbath, however, will be held by the promise of a resolution as outlandish and as the rest of the picture.
The exaggerated raw violence of "Reservoir Dogs" leaves one feeling cheated in the end. For this movie isn't really about anything. It's just a flashy, stylistically daring exercise in cinematic mayhem.