Monday, January 19, 2015

The Drop

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! So...this movie isn't about the bass drop on a dubstep track?  Huh.

The Drop – 4 out of 5

James Gandolfini was, and will forever be remembered, as a fantastic actor.  Forgetting for a moment how amazing he was to watch as the iconic Tony Soprano, the man commanded attention and it wasn’t unheard of him to steal the film and demand all the attention—sometimes this worked when he ended up being the only good thing about some films.  Sadly, this is the last of the films he worked on when he passed and is the last billing his name saw in his talented life.  However, his is starring with Tom Hardy…so, that’s a pretty epic combination to end on, in my opinion.
That's a lot of talent crammed into one tight corner.

Bob (Tom Hardy) is a quiet and simple man who works for a drop bar—a bar that is a point of convergence for money from illicit gains and is picked up there by some members of a organized crime syndicate—and this bar was once the property of Cousin Marv (James Gandolfini)—he’s owns it now in name only as the mobsters are the true owners now.  One day, the bar gets robbed—which, in an of itself, is a stupid move but there seems to be a whole lot more to the robbery than a couple of simple thugs trying to get some beer money.  While this happens, Bob finds himself connecting with a local girl (Noomi Rapace) over an abandoned dog he found.  And, as strange as it all seems, this event has plenty to do with the robbery that took place…
Ever since Prometheus, Rapace is always on the lookout for angry fanboys.

I really enjoy Tom Hardy and I already gave a gushing insight to how I feel about the late great Gandolfini in the opening paragraph, so when these two meet in a single film, I’m pretty much sold.  Don’t bother showing me a trailer, just give me a quick summary of what it is about—hell, lie to me what it is about—and I’ll watch the damn thing.  And, I have to say, The Drop is a great crime drama with some absolutely tremendous performances.
Man, that mobster can tie the fuck out of tie.  That knot is flawless.

The story to The Drop isn’t too complicated but it was really good at keeping me glued to the screen.  At first, the whole aspect of Bob finding a dog and using it to connect with Noomi Rapace’s character sorta feels out of place and I started to wonder what exactly the dog and Rapace’s character played.  Without spoiling anything (we know how the internet hates spoilers), they in fact play a very important role and all the characters and their plotlines connect at the end but, more importantly, was how this element played on the themes of the film—themes like keeping secrets and hidden pasts.
Garbage cliché.

Bob is a very quiet, unassuming character who, a little bit, comes off a little simple.  However, the ending shows he is a lot more—after all, mysterious pasts are the name of the game in this film.  One of the strongest aspects in the story was seeing how Nadia (Rapace) dealt with when she learned what Bob is exactly capable of.  This ends up playing very well with the kindness he shows the dog and what he will do to protect both the dog and Nadia.  Bob’s loyalty is another theme the film showcases and it showcases it very well.
It looks like her sweater is trying to quietly sneak away.

And since I’m talking about Bob, I’ll talk about Tom Hardy’s performance.  Hardy is an actor that, no matter what project he is on, I will go out of my way to watch said project.  Every film I watch him in I praise his seamless talent and the way he is able to absolutely submerge himself into the character he is playing and, once again, he has surprised me with how talented he is.  Like I said, Bob seems like a simple character who might not have all the bulbs on his Christmas light string all lit up and it was such a stark contrast to the strong characters that I’m quick to think of when I think of Hardy (I’ll be honest, I think Bane, Bronson, his charismatic performance in Inception, and his role in Warrior first with Hardy before I think about him in something like Locke—even though I loved Locke).  And since he is so ridiculously talented, Hardy pulls this off and I forget that one time he was beating the shit out of Batman while talking in a voice I can’t help but imitate to total strangers.
"What are you thinking about?"
"Oh, nothing.  Just breaking the Batman and stuff."

Honestly, all the performances in the film were great and that’s not really a surprise considering the cast.  Rapace plays tremendously well in her scenes with Hardy and Gandolfini is, once again, awesome to watch.  Cousin Marv might not be as unique as the character of Bob and is, usually, a man of few words, Gandolfini makes him a character to watch because the dude could speak volumes without saying a single goddamn word.  The defeat that Marv feels for being a lackey to the mob in a bar that was once his is palpable and Gandolfini represents in in spades.  This also leads to a great monologue from the man where he rants about how he was once respected and feared and now he’s nothing.  While this role won’t be as memorable to me as some of his other later roles (like his great performance in the romcom Enough Said) it’s still a damn fine role to be credited as your final appearance.  Rest in peace, good sir!
Good night, sweet prince.

The Drop isn’t flashy, the reveal isn’t some jaw-dropping twist, and the film doesn’t have much replay value beyond a viewing here and there but the film has a great, well executed story, interesting characters, and tremendous acting.

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