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Movie Review: The Drop


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Since first hearing about this film in early 2013, and with the casting news of Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and Noomi Rapace, The Drop has been one of my most anticipated movies. I’ve always been a huge fan of crime drama, whether it is Scorsese’s classic mafia film GoodFellas, or the groundbreaking HBO series The Sopranos, in which James Gandolfini portrayed the iconic mob boss Tony Soprano. I’ve also read several of screenwriter Dennis Lehane’s novels, including those that have been adapted into films such as Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River. On June 19, 2013 in Rome, word came out that Gandolfini had suffered a fatal heart attack while on vacation with his son. The Drop marks the big man’s final film role.

 

Gandolfini and Director Michael R. Roskam

Gandolfini and Director Michael R. Roskam

Originally titled Animal Rescue, The Drop was crafted from a screenplay written by highly acclaimed author Dennis Lehane and was directed by Michael R. Roskam, marking the Belgian director’s Hollywood debut. Tom Hardy plays Bob Saginowski, a lonely bartender who works at his cousin Marv’s (Gandolfini) bar in Brooklyn, New York. The bar also happens to be a money drop spot where Bob and Marv help distribute money to local gangsters. Bob meets Nadia (Rapace) after finding an abused pit bull puppy in a garbage can out in front of her apartment late one night. They begin a relationship based around taking care of the puppy. One night after the bar has closed and Bob and Marv are cleaning and counting the money collected from the drops, two men in masks decide to storm in and rob the cash. From here the story progresses with twists and turns, and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

tom-hardy-with-pup-on-new-film-animal-rescue-1The performances are terrific, with Tom Hardy utilizing an authentic sounding Brooklyn accent to compliment the character. He plays Bob as a gentle, likable loner that minds his own business and doesn’t like to cause trouble. When you see him save the puppy and hilariously trying to learn to take care of it, he establishes himself as the guy you will root for no matter what. James Gandolfini as Uncle Marv is a no nonsense guy that is trying to save up enough cash to care for his father who is on life support and for his sister (who he lives with) that wants to realize her dream of going to Europe before she dies. In Gandolfini’s performance you see both the lighthearted side he showed in his last film Enough Said as well as the edgier side he so masterfully displayed on The Sopranos. He and Hardy are fun to watch interact, and they have several humorous exchanges throughout the film. Noomi Rapace was very effective in her role as Nadia, as she brings believability to the character who has seemingly overcome a tortured past. The relationship between her character and Bob becomes more complicated as the story unfolds and she gets to show more than a few layers to her character along the way.

Hardy and Rapace

Hardy and Rapace

For the sake of letting everyone experience the movie as I did without knowing too much going in I have purposely left out a lot of detail regarding the story and the additional characters. Other reviews  I have seen simply say too much and, in my opinion, take away from the experience. It’s a gritty crime drama that is expertly written, acted and directed. From the beginning narration by a Brooklyn accented Tom Hardy to the edge of your seat finale, The Drop is an excellent film and a wonderful final performance from the larger than life James Gandolfini.

I give The Drop 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls

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ZERG

 

My older brother introduced me to the world of movies, video games and television in the late 80s. I remember staying up late at night as a five year old to watch Friday the 13th movies. Corey Haim and Feldman were at the height of their popularity, and we had a VHS copy of License to Drive that we memorized word for word. One night, my brother brought home a brand new Nintendo along with the now legendary game Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. I can still hear the Miami Vice TV show theme song in my head. All of these early experiences helped shape my love for all things movies, video games, and television. While most people are reading the national news in the morning, I am reading the latest movie and entertainment news. My favorite movie is GoodFellas from my favorite filmmaker Martin Scorsese. I’ve made the jump to the next generation of video game consoles with the PlayStation 4, where I’m currently playing The Last of Us Remastered and Madden 15. My favorite TV show of all time is The Sopranos, which revolutionized television and led to some of my other favorite shows like Breaking Bad. When I am not watching movies or playing video games, I enjoy reading and watching my favorite Chicago sports teams play.