Centered mostly on a bleak warehouse, with scenes in a restaurant and on the street granting viewers a brief reprieve from stasis, even the settings that Reservoir Dogs makes use of forces viewers to pay attention to dialogue as opposed to the surroundings characters find themselves in. Of course, Tim Roth’s Mr. Orange is splayed out on an incline for some obtuse reason – and you can be certain that there is one. But apart from that, the warehouse just functions as a room for discussions to occur in while simultaneously making the entire affair seem like a staged play.
The random flashbacks explicating each character’s introduction to the heist crew are interesting, but it’s in the restaurant where viewers are granted major insights regarding character and temperament.
Stever Buscemi’s Mr. Pink, the lone survivor at the conclusion of the film, sits around opining about the current state of the job market. He pontificates on various reasons why he won’t be shamed into tipping for just adequate service. Harvey Keitel’s character seems none to pleased by Pink’s perspective and launches into some screed touching upon the socio-economic possibilities for uneducated woman. It’s an immediate, grand opening to a film, but there’s more.
Even as Pink and White disagree with each other, which will soon be mirrored in the back and forth found in the warehouse, Lawrence Tierney’s Joe Cabot, the gang’s figure head and leader, ends the conversation as Pink rescinds his position and kowtow’s to the elder man eventually throwing in a dollar for the tip.
While all of this points to character development, it’s still the dialogue that stands out. And as the scene is pushes towards its close, Tierney’s Joe Cabot intones the line, “Okay ramblers, let's get rambling.” There’s no telling where Tarantino actually picked that up from, but be assured that its in reference to something birthed from the late sixties or early seventies.
There’s certainly more to the film than a few quick and memorable quips. And with Tarantino seeking to include some sort of revenge aspect to each of his films, the final scenes, which find most of the gang laying around bleeding and near death, Keitel and Roth have a moment. It’s all artfully shot with Keitel’s gun bounding in and out of the frame as portions of Roth’s face are momentarily off screen. But the terse language reserved for this finale point to the fact that Tarantino, even at this relatively early stage in his career, sought to finesse the English language so that he was able to relate realistic dialogue in outlandish situations.