Movie Review: “The Drop” – Doggone Good Film!

Written by Jesse Gelinas September 24, 2014

Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini in "The Drop"

Ah, the gritty crime-drama. That ever deep pool of unending entertainment and catharsis. No matter how far off the rails Hollywood goes, or how outrageous the Summer blockbuster lineup gets, you always bring us back to center. A great crime drama comes out every year (sometimes more than one), and they are always the most hyped, and then unfortunately under-performing films of their particular weekend. Michael R. Roskam’s “The Drop” is no exception. This gritty drama may just be one of the best films of the year, but alas, it sees destined to remain a sleeper.

Tom Hardy plays Bob. Bob tends bar at Cousin Marv’s, one of countless dives in Brooklyn owned by various criminal enterprises. Cousin Marv’s did indeed used to belong to Marv (James Gandolfini in his final role), until he and Bob were out-muscled by the Chechen mob and forced down the ladder, becoming the operators of this particular “drop bar”. But when a robbery leaves the pair in debt to their bosses, and desperate to make things right. The plot has more twists and turns from here, many of them stemming from Bob’s finding of an abused pit bull pup in a neighbour’s trash.

“I was thinking Rocco… or Mike.”

Penned by Dennis Lehane, you know you’re getting a quality script. This is an actor’s film; the characters and the dialogue allow the leads to explore their range and bring out stellar performances all around. Gandolfini is his usual alpha-self, but in a much more vulnerable role than were used to seeing him. You could very well be looking at Tony Soprano ten years down the line, and I think the role serves as a wonderful, and almost poetic sendoff for the beloved actor. Noomi Rapace is solid as always as Bob’s friend and dog-sitter. Tom Hardy hammers the film home though with his turn as the odd, off-putting Bob. Bob is played quiet, gentle, unassuming, but with an inexplicable mystique about him. You just know there’s something dark trembling below the surface and Hardy hits all these notes perfectly.

Noomi Rapace in "The Drop"

The film doesn’t blaze a trail in original storytelling. Actually the plot is quite familiar, predictable almost. However, even the cliches are executed with such surgical precision that they just hook you in. The introduction of a cute puppy companion for a hard leading man is usually the recipe for a cheese-fest. Not the case here; honestly, I’d watch two hours of Bob and his pup Rocco just palling around. Hardy brings such likability to his character and the relationship between him and Rocco is so integral to his development as a character, and even to the plot that it’s just enthralling. And even with the familiar turns and tropes, the film still manages to pull off my favourite “Holy Shit!” moment of the year so far. I won’t call it a twist; I think “Holy Shit!” encapsulates it much better.

“It’s over. It’s been over for a while now.”

Unfortunately for “The Drop” and most films like it, it’s likely to be forgotten by the time awards season comes around. We’re into the Fall now and the big contenders will be released in quick succession, and while the Academy will be looking at the usual suspects for consideration, “The Drop” will reign as my current pick for best of the year. With a strong cast, solid writing, a pitch-perfect performance from Tom Hardy, and a few terrific surprises, “The Drop” is a must-see.

My Rating: 9/10

Poster for "The Drop"

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Jesse Gelinas

After years attempting to escape the Matrix, Jesse has accepted his fate as a writer and Senior Editor. Now that's he finished with his film degree, it gives him something to do while waiting for the machines to get careless.

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on Movie Review: “The Drop” – Doggone Good Film!. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment