Rated: R for some strong violence and pervasive language. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: September 12, 2014 Released by: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone) adapts one of his short stories that helmer Michael R. Roskum proves fairly efficient in the grimy world of crime.
The Drop stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and the late James Gandolfini whose steely, ready-for-retirement Cousin Marv isn't a reprisal of his iconic Tony Soprano character.
The Brooklyn-based film, with the filmmaking maybe not exhibiting a telling sense of place outside of Boston as well as in the aforementioned more gripping dramas, gravitates around a certain seething rancor.
The tale actually centers around Hardy's Bob who can't manage a convincing accent residing in his deceased parents flat meeting and comforting a traumatized Nadia (Rapace of Passion and Dead Man Down). Eric (Matthias Schoenaerts of Roskum's lauded Bullhead) is a shady character who deposited an injured canine in her trash. Bob, while doing good for Nadia and the dog, feels the illicit ties of Eric in an extortion and perhaps hold-up scheme at the place used at times to house gambling revenue.
Bob, of course, is related to Marv, who used to be a loan-shark and was beholden to a key Chechen underworld figure which resulted in losing the bar once named after him that he hesitantly runs with his nephew. So, the harboring of ill-will by Uncle Marv against the Chechens puts Bob in a scary, desperate condition as the title really takes hold when Super Bowl Sunday arrives.
Lehane's storyline has its share of vicious wryness that Hardy and Gandolfini work into their well-shaded characters, as the former offers a gradually, gratifying complex turn (almost as watchable as his stellar turn in this year's confined, compelling Locke). And, the latter, whose untimely passing came after the delightfully, bittersweet rom-com Enough Said is effective even when playing down on the mood meter than most of his admirers had seen throughout his too brief career. Rapace and Schoenaerts don't have what it takes from Lehane and Roskum to provide real hardy backup but they are good enough in this dark, gritty fantasy pointed towards the mob.