release date: 12 September 2014
run time: 106 mins
considered: Crime, Drama
director: Michael R Roskam
starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, John Ortiz, Matthias Schoenaerts, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Michael Aronov, Morgan Spector, Michael Esper, Ross Bickell, James Frencheville, Tobias Segal, Patricia Squire, Anna Dowd, Chris Sullivan
movie summary: Hollywood along with the local and national news has painted a picture that Brooklyn is one of the shadiest boroughs of New York City. On average there are more bad things that occur on the other side of the bridge than anywhere else. Marv (James Gandolfini) is the owner of a small bar that serves as a drop off point for mobsters to hand in the money they owe or collect. Marv has hired his cousin Bob (Tom Hardy) to tend the bar and handle the cash transactions when they come in. Bob is a shy guy who doesn’t say much when he talks and lacks a lot of life skills to come across as normal. He spends his days cleaning the bar and serving drinks when it’s open because he lives a really quiet life, that is until he discovers an abused dog in someone’s trash can.
While making noise with the trash cans, Nadia (Noomi Rapace) comes out of her house to question what Bob is doing. He explains that he found the dog and they bring it in to clean it up. Bob is attracted to Nadia but never says anything related to the subject. He doesn’t know what to do with the dog so he convinces Nadia to take him for a few days until he can sort out his life. The next night Cousin Marv’s Bar is held up by two kids wearing masks and armed with shotguns. They hold Bob and Marv up for $5,000 which belongs to Chovka (Michael Aronov), a mobster who actually owns the bar. The cops show up and question Bob who reveals a little bit more information than Marv would have liked. When the cops leave Marv and Bob put their heads together and try to figure out who would have robbed them because once Chovka comes by, he’s going to want his money back.
Bob returns to Nadia’s house to pick up the dog, he asks her for help to buy food, toys, and anything else he’ll need for the dog that they name Rocco. Once Bob returns home, a shady neighbourhood wanna be gangster named Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts) comes back and informs Bob that Rocco is his dog and he wants him back. Eric threatens to steal the dog if Bob doesn’t pay him money. Instead of fighting Bob explains the situation and tells Eric that the dog is his now, Eric responses that he will be watching and will be back for the dog.
Marv meanwhile is trying his best to figure out who robbed the bar. While at home with his sister Dottie (Ann Dowd), Marv has to listen about how she wants to retire and visit Europe. Frustrated with the way his life has turned out, Marv yells at her that there will be no retiring anytime soon they just don’t have the money. He leaves the house because he’s tired of listening to her nag him and continues his search leading to no new information. Detective Torres (John Ortiz) is the NYPD officer assigned to the case and continues to bump into Bob on the streets and at church to get more answers from him. Bob comes across as someone who would trip over his own two feet which draws some unwanted attention to himself, but he won’t break by giving away any more information.
Chovka calls Marv a few days before the Super Bowl and asks him if he’d be interested in being the drop bar for the nightly collections. Marv accepts the offer and then becomes sick forcing Bob to work the bar alone with some hired help. During the busiest night of the year, some shady characters come and go but Eric Deeds comes in and sits in the back all night long. He has dragged Nadia, his ex-girlfriend, to the party to distract Bob from his job. There’s a plan in motion to rob this place for the millions of dollars it has collected, but the mastermind behind it all might be someone no one would have ever guessed.
my thoughts: When anyone watches the trailer for The Drop, they would expect this to be a kill everyone at all costs kind of gangster movie when in fact it is not. Instead of being guns blazing total guy flick, it was written to be a slow-moving edge of your seat crime story where the focus is one character instead of the robbery itself. Sadly, anyone with half a brain and watches a lot of movies could figure out the ending while watching the story unfolds. The best part of the entire movie is the anticipation of when and if it that moment would actually happen. It wasn’t surprising to say the least and everyone got what was coming to them at the end.
In terms of main characters and their personalities, Tom Hardy steals the show with his performance as Bob. I know I am going out on a limb here, but he reminded me so much of Sylvester Stallone in Rocky. Hear me out on this before you get mad at me, but Rocky was a dumb guy from the streets who just busted his ass to get to the top. He falls in love with a beautiful girl and is very awkward at approaching her and making the move. Bob is the exact same guy, except he has a past filled with violence, murder, and who knows what else. He works at his job because it’s the only thing he has in his life at the moment until Rocco and Nadia come into the picture. Of course both of them seem pretty harmless but trouble associated with them is lurking in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. They believe Bob is weak prey, that he won’t put up much of a fight and go down easy, but when pushed to his limits Bob has a dark side that will reveal itself causing a chain reaction of events that will end everything. Bob is just an ordinary guy who goes to church every week, he means well, but ultimately would be someone you would not want to ever mess with, especially when he talks in his British accent in a whisper monotone.
The other leading character, Cousin Marv, was played by the late great James Gandolfini. I mean no offense to all the people who love him, but this was a horrible performance. In my opinion he’s an after thought for most of the plot even thought he plays a major role in the events at the end. He is as shady as they come with a personal agenda that has cost him his once proud repetition. His bar got robbed because he used to be a guy you couldn’t mess with, but in his older age he’s a guy no one really cares about anymore. This was one of Gandolfini’s final films to be released after his passing. Sadly his character in this movie spends every single scene smoking a cigarette which won’t be a lasting image for so many people who treasured his work.
The final main character is Noomi Rapace’s character Nadia, who is there as a potential love interest but pain in the neck when the stuff hits the fan. She’s innocent but has a past that will be intertwined with Bob and Cousin Marv’s future. Eric Deeds is a major part of her life and when he attempts to bring the whole bar down, will hold her hostage to get what he needs. Despite her efforts to stay clean and stay out of trouble she is dragged back into it. There’s a connection between her and Bob but she is the type that is just gonna let things fall into place instead of rushing or forcing anything which compliments the story and Bob’s character perfectly.
my final thoughts: I went in expecting too much from The Drop. There was hope this would be the month’s best release so far but in the end I left really disappointed. I guess I wanted a shoot’em up kind of movie not another movie about a heist gone wrong twice in same movie. Besides the great performance of Tom Hardy, this movie would have a total fail for me.
my star rating: 5 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 89% out 100
rogerebert.com: 3 out 4