Here we are again, in another rough and tumble neighborhood where everybody steals from each other, and nobody ever gets out. We have heard this story before and it can basically take place anywhere because, well, America is filled with a lot of crappy places.
The Drop is a slick and entertaining, yet typical, crime thriller. Boston writer Dennis Lehane takes his talents to the streets of Brooklyn. Bob (Tom Hardy) works at a bar that criminals from all walks of life use as a “drop bar.” This is a place where money constantly changes hands. Or that is what I think. There’s a lot of accents in play here.
Bob works for his Cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), who I call Cousin Marv because everybody calls him Cousin Marv. Bob constantly finds himself in the middle of several robberies and murders. Many of these involve severed body parts.
The Drop builds itself on a strong foundation. Everybody in this neighborhood knows each other. The history of friends and family is strongly detailed, which lets us know that this world existed before this film, and it will exist for a long time afterwards. We are watching what was once a thriving place now in a period of decline.
Unfortunately, the story of The Drop is weak and its message is often handled in a heavy-handed way. It reminds me most of The Town, another memorable if conventional crime drama. However, The Town has much more forward momentum. The Drop often gets stuck on a lot of little things that it doesn’t quite deliver on.
What manages to elevate The Drop is a few stunning performances. This is James Gandolfini’s last film ever. It pains me to write this sentence. He was overly qualified for this role, and he makes a lot out of a little. As always, he dominates every moment of screen time that he gets. It was nice to get one last taste of Tony Soprano. The true standout here, though, is Tom Hardy. Beyond the rough edges, he shows off a clear sensitive side. I have always known that Tom Hardy was talented, but this is probably the most lovable character he has ever played. I looked at him and all I could think of was Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront. Hell, they even share a similar jacket.
The Drop is worth watching. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it never tries to. It tells a conventional story well. I just wish it slowed down and let us understand it a little better sometimes.
Brain Farts From The Edge
- That puppy. This picture.
- There’s a lot of sports small talk in The Drop. Come on Lehane, New Yorkers talk about other things beside the Jets score. Or do they?
- This film has some award worthy cinematography. Lots of great colors. Awesome first shot. The Manhattan Bridge gets overshadowed by the Brooklyn Bridge, but
- The Drop showed a community of Brooklyn that nobody really talks about anymore. I feel like all we hear about now is gentrification.
- Speaking of which, imagine if The Drop was set in Park Slope or Williamsburg. Noomi Rapace would wear Lululemon. The drop bar would be a cupcake shop. One thing they did stay true to in the film…lots of dudes with beards.