Skip to main content

Taron Egerton Is Playing Elton John In Biopic 'Rocketman'

The Drop Review: Gritty, Noir Taste of Brooklyn Crime

The Drop is old-school crime with a lovable puppy thrown in for color.
There's two different - and nearly diametrically opposed - Brooklyn, New Yorks: the new one, filled with hipsters and well-to-do's who attend Brooklyn Nets games at the arena. The other is the Brooklyn of my grandmother's time: working class, tough, and filled with characters you'd never pass on a dark walk home. This is the world surrounding The Drop, a classic gritty Noir thriller that brings Brooklyn back to its deservedly old-school status.

Bob (Tom Hardy) lives a solitary life in his dead parent's home, attends a soon-to-be shuttered church, and tends bar at Cousin Marv’s, a Brooklyn dive owned by his cousin Marv (the late James Gandolfini). Unfortunately, Marv has lost the bar to a Chechen gang who use it on occasion as a drop for all the dirty money they're making. After a robbery goes down in the bar, the Chechens demand their lost money, suspecting an inside job. But Bob has more important things to worry about: the discovery of a wounded Pit Bull puppy and the similarly battered Nadia (Noomi Rapace), along with the bruiser Deeds who not only expects Bob to pay for the dog but to stay away from his girlfriend. As the police begin to close in on the robbers, and the Chechens choose the bar for a Super Bowl drop, Bob must decide whether Deeds is a threat, while Marv must choose his destiny before the Chechens do it for him.

The Drop is directed by the Belgian Michaël R. Roskam, who's new to American cinema. His style - and appreciation for classic Noir - certainly shows in nearly every frame, and it's a welcome return to a genre that had gotten a recent films. I love Noir because it's usually unrelenting and unapologetic, filled with villains who command the screen and anti-heroes that make us question why we love them so much. Our leads are well-drawn victims of their environment, forced either to one side (Bob) or the other (Deeds), while some (Nadia and Marv) are nudged just enough off-center to make them either victims or some thug's next meal.

Hardy's performance will seem dim-witted to the un-educated Summer movie fan, but his slow demeanor hides important reveals and a simmering rage that Hardy keeps tightly controlled until it's time to play. And when that moment happens, it reminded me of his performance in Lawless: more dangerous than any other person in the room, but never one to boast about it. Roskam lets Hardy and Gandolfini (in his final performance) chew on the meaty script by Penner Dennis Lehane, one moment playing deadpan humor and the next planning to how to get one over on the Chechens. We come to feel sorry for these characters, as if a breath of sunshine or a change of scenery would bring them back into the fold; but this isn't Fairytale Town, and I have zero problem with that.

And yet, it's not a perfect script: Marv's situation isn't nearly as deep as I'd hoped, and the film goes on a bit longer than needed. Lehane is trying to tell three stories - robbery, dog, exposition, whodunnit - some parts of which don't blend too well, leaving Marv out of the action for too long while emphasizing Bob's burgeoning relationship with Nadia. But Roskam's direction is solid, slowly building the tension between Bob, Marv, and Deeds while Lehane's rather sick sense of humor bubbles up throughout the film, adding much-needed levity to the terse environment. The appearance of the dog doesn't hurt either, its playful and loving glances at Nadia and Bob providing a contrast to the crime world Roskam paints so well.

In the end, The Drop achieves exactly what it sets out to do: tell a classic crime thriller that entertains just enough without trying too hard. It's a fitting end to a great career for Gandolfini, and one you shouldn't miss, whether you see it now or later. Add this one on your movie To-Do List, for it might even surprise us come Oscar season.

The Drop is rated R for some strong violence and pervasive language.and has a runtime of 106 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.


Popular posts from this blog

Taron Egerton Is Playing Elton John In Biopic 'Rocketman'

Regular listeners to the Empire Podcast (sorry about the whole Call Me By Your Name theme ear worm, incidentally) will recall that we had Taron Egerton as a guest on the 300th episode, recorded in front of an audience on Valentine's Day. He talked up his hope that Elton John biopic Rocketman would finally come together, and now Paramount is closing a deal to finance and distribute the film worldwide.

The film, which has been through at least one previous incarnation (Michael Gracey directing Tom Hardy in the lead) is reuniting the Eddie The Eagle team of Egerton, director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn, who has been trying to get the movie made for a while, with Elton's blessing and the support of his company, Rocket Pictures.

Featuring a script by Lee Hall, Rocketman will follow the career of the artist formerly known as Reginald Dwight, from a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music to a global superstar, through his influential and enduring musical partnership w…

New #DISOBEDIENCE Clip Featuring Rachel Weisz & Rachel McAdams

Disobedience follows a woman as she returns to the community that shunned her decades earlier for an attraction to a childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality. Written by Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz and based on Naomi Alderman’s book, the film stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola.

Discuss this with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms Please Leave A Comment-

ISLE OF DOGS & Wes Anderson Launch CrowdRise Campaign To Benefit @bestfriends

Every day, more than 4,100 dogs and cats are killed in America’s shelters, simply because they don’t have safe places to call home. Best Friends Animal Society is a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing. They believe that by working collaboratively with shelters, rescue groups, other organizations and you, we will end the killing and Save Them All by 2025.

6 people will win the full set of 6 figures
These sets are 6 of only 100 ever made
They will NOT be sold in any stores
These figures were designed and hand finished in London by the same puppet makers who created the puppets for the film
Each set comes with 5 dogs and Atari
This is your chance to own a piece of Wes Anderson and "Isle of Dogs" history

Every $10 is a chance to win, so $50 = 5 entries

Click Here for the official CrowdRise page.

No purchase or donation necessary to enter or win

Discuss this with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms