The Drop – Movie Review
The Drop – R
Release Date: Fri 12 Sep 2014
The Drop was adapted by Dennis Lehane from his short story “Animal Rescue.” Tom Hardy plays Bob, a bartender who works at Cousin Marv’s for the former owner and current operator (Marv, played by the late James Gandolfini.) The bar is owned by a crime syndicate that pushed Bob and Marv out of power but put them to work as part of a dirty money moving operation, the titular drop.
Bob hears a dog whine as he walks the Brooklyn streets on his way to work and finds a beaten and bloody pit bull puppy in a garbage can outside the home of Nadia (Noomi Rapace). The two develop a friendship taking care of the dog, but are threatened by local legend and possibly psychotic Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts) who has a past with Marv and Nadia and is thought to have murdered a neighborhood man.
Bob and Nadia are strange characters. Bob is very quiet, loyal and hardworking but there’s an unspoken air of menace to him. I never worried something would happen to him directly. Rather, you worry about someone getting to him through Nadia or the dog. Nadia slowly reveals her past and becomes an understandably fragile character. Marv seems more accessible as an also-ran who is bitter that he is no longer respected in the crime syndicate. Eric Deeds is menacing with just the right amount of unpredictability. Violence is mainly implied in this movie or happens off screen.
The screenplay is threadbare in the second act and becomes half suspense and half confusion as you wonder why the momentum seems stuck. The final act is a satisfying conclusion and makes it worth the wait. It’s hard to say whether I would get more out of it watching it again or if I would just be bored rather than half confused and half intrigued. It’s great to see Gandolfini even in this typical role of an east coast crooked businessman, and strange as the other characters are the ending is strong enough to make it worth seeing at least once – though probably not worth a full price ticket.
Aaron and I saw it in the theater and has a discussion afterward in the car: