Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Drop - Review

The Drop – Review

Starring the late James Gandolfini, along with Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace, “The Drop” is a dark, moody underbelly big city slice of life story about mobsters, their money, their crimes and the innocent bystanders who get in their way. Seemingly, with most of these kind of crime films we invariable know going in we will see how all of these aspects become interconnected to one another, either by design or by accident with both attributes providing a predetermined conclusion of life altering consequences.

Taking place in Brooklyn, ‘The Drop” is a plot involving a bar and the heavy handed mobsters using it and a string of other bars as a covert scheme of funneling their illegal cash by moving it overnight to secure locations - "money drops". One of the bars is managed by “Cousin Marv” (Gandolfini) and his younger cousin “Bob” (Hardy) who is a seemingly shy and loner type who enjoys being a bartender. “Bob” whose personality can be best described as a mix of Fredo Corleone mix with Rocky Balboa knows he just needs to keep his head low, do what he is told and not make any waves with the Chechen Mobsters who come by often to drop their envelopes off in plain sight. He's a very nice and polite guy.

Invariable whenever and where ever there’s lots of money there will be crime and on one night as Marv and Bob are closing two masked men come in to hold up the bar for the cash. The very next day when the Chechen Mobsters show up to collect their drops they make it clear with Marv and Bob they need to find out who did the robbery and get their money back. The dilemma for them is if they do in deed find the guys who did the robbery they would probably be seen as being complicit in the crime from the beginning. If they don’t find the cash then they would probably end up losing their lives. Or would they?

What happens at this point is less of a predictable plot and more of story that changes into an entwined tale that digs deep into all of the characters past. What also happens with the movie is less a sensational action film and more of an introspective organic film trying to explain and understanding the motives of the principals involved in this crime.

This is a highly deliberate and highly purposeful simmering dark odyssey with a real working class feel to it. It creates more mood and loathing than a need for a completely cogent, logical and discernable screenplay. The Drop is style and it uses it style brush to bath itself in slow scenes and slow tension in its effort to create the great anticipation something ominous is getting ready to happen. But with each moment of foreboding not much is really delivered in the way of justifying our earlier fears. Instead we are left in the end with a rather simple conclusion that invariably leaves us savoring the film more for its looks and acting prowess as our overall source of entertainment  

On a high note what was gratifyingly clear for me is the real star of this film is Tom Hardy, who after seeing him in “Locke” and now “The Drop” I can honestly say he will be a huge star in the next two years. Meaning? If you have never ever seen a Tom Hanks or Russell Crowe film, you clearly knew they are actors. Hardy is well on his way to having that kind of international cache and recognition. He is always dazzling, electric and genuinely innovative in creating sympathetic characters on the screen from the very opening scene.

The Drop was a bit hard for me to rate, but for its look, its reasonable good storytelling and honest acting emotions its worth your time.

3 – 1/2 Stars

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