Movie Review: THE DROP – nice, gritty thriller with a retro feel and a great performance by Tom Hardy

The Drop

Finally watched The Drop, based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River (arguably Clint Eastwood’s best directorial effort). I’m a fan of seedy crime dramas, the kind that used to be so prevalent in the 70s, like Serpico, The French Connection, you know – where the story revolves around a handful of people and mostly takes place in a small geographical region, usually in the five boroughs of New York City. The Drop doesn’t deserve to be up there with the best, but it definitely fits into that sub-genre, and is a pretty good example of it.

In one of his last roles, James Gandolfini plays his part pretty much as you’d expect. He doesn’t bring much of a surprise to the role, so if you like seeing him do his bit, he’s good. Personally, I might have gone for a different kind of actor just to mix things up a little, but speaking of a different kind of actor, once again Tom Hardy proves his versatility with a performance of great subtlety as the main character. I could write more about his character, but to anyone who has yet to see the movie it would be wrong. And speaking of using a different kind of actor, Noomi Rapace is cast as the obvious love interest, but thankfully gets a little more depth than the character would have had if this movie had been made in the 70s. I can’t say I’m a fan of Rapace’s, but she lends her character some credibility with a typically brittle, frosty presence.

I loved the reveal in this movie, although I could see it coming a mile off (even telegraphed a little clumsily for my liking a few minutes earlier). It’s done well in a great, tense scene that suggests that despite what the story is about, THIS is the heart of the movie.

I give Michael Roskam a lot of props for his direction here. Many excellent one and two shots keeps the tension crackling throughout the piece. My main problem with the movie is the undercooked detective subplot. It feels incidental and unnecessary, but it really could have added to the finished piece if expanded.


© Andrew Hope 2015

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