The Drop: Review

The Drop

If I was pressed for an answer, I’d probably say that my favorite genre of movie is “crime thriller.” They’re usually a pressure cooker of a plot, paired with a runaway train of complications – all covered with just the right amount of dirt. The Drop is a textbook example of just such a movie.

Starring Tom Hardy (Star Trek: Nemesis), James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), and Noomi Rapace (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), The Drop tells the story of a neighborhood bar, once owned by Gandolfini’s character Marv, but now in the hands of Chechen mobsters. They own lots of properties in the area, each one used on a different night as the drop (get it?) for the take of the mob’s illegal daily dealings. No one knows which bar or which night, as an attempt to thwart cops and robbers.

The DropThings start going tits up when Cousin Marv’s Bar gets stuck up one night. Now Marv and bartender Bob Saginowski (Hardy) are down 5 grand, and the Chechens are pissed. They have to figure out who robbed them, as well as find a way to get the money back before being bumped off by the mob.

It’s along his path home that Bob has a chance meeting with Nadia, (Rapace) a local neighborhood girl, after hearing a poor lil’ pit bull puppy left in her garbage. They strike up a friendship over the pup, but Bob soon learns that her troubled past is tied to his present predicament more than he could even imagine.

First off, let me just say that Tom Hardy (unsurprisingly) shows that he has the acting chops to be recognized as one of the modern greats. His character of Bob Saginowski is the definition of placid waters. A quiet storm brewing under his polite and almost…simple mentality. Noomi Rapace is great as usual – of course a girl with a secret and troubled past is kind of her M.O. at this point. Also, sticking to their comfort zone is Gandolfini, playing the gruff but grounded ex-mobster, a type of role he’ll forever been known best for.

The DropThe acting is really what the admission price is for. Seeing these three perfectly express their talents is what carries this movie, since the plot is pretty rote and underwhelming by the end. Besides a couple scenes, we never really get a good sense of the danger presented by the mob. It never feels like the stakes are high enough to make anything more than just an inconvenience. The whodunit could have really worked, but we had to waste a lot of time with the pit bull side story – which did help build the characters and the relationship between Bob and Nadia, but made the movie feel half like an underwhelming thriller, and half like a weird romance movie. Nadia’s ex-boyfriend, played well by Matthais Schoenaerts, kindof ties the two stories together, but always comes off as an annoying asshole more than any actual menacing antagonist.

It wasn’t bad by any means, the acting was great, but by the end, I just felt lukewarm. It never “thrilled” enough to put me on edge, and certainly not invested enough to really care who robbed the joint in the first place. If you want to see a really great crime thriller watch The Town again, or the criminally under-sung Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead. Both are better examples than The Drop, which was unfortunately less than the sum of its parts.

by Patrick Fedo

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