A group of criminals are brought together for a jewelry heist, but things go badly. That’s pretty much the whole plot of the film, but there is much more to it than that. There is the coming together of the criminals, each given the name of a colour to avoid sharing personal information. There is the revelation of an undercover cop in the group. There is the slow bleeding out of one of the criminals as they wait, after the event, to see who survived. All told in though a combination of flashbacks interjected into the story.
It was considered revolutionary at the time; the clear voice of a new auteur, a bright new star on the Hollywood scene; Quentin Tarantino. How true; Tarantino quickly became known for his witty dialogue and extreme violence. Looking back on this, twenty years after its release, it mostly holds up. The script is good, although I always found some of the key scenes (the pancake house in particular) pretty annoying. My one criticism is that the acting is generally quite clunky, and I think that is thanks to the lack of experience of Tarantino at the time. I’d actually love to see him remake it now to see if the way he directs the actors would be any different.