“My brain was pretty much blank going into this. I’d had a very long and overly stimulating day the day before, and the evening before that as well, and I only forced myself to the movies out of not wanting to break my streak. Pretty much every new release movie I’ve written up in the past month explains my view of these late summer, post-blockbuster but pre-Oscar flicks, so expectations weren’t too high.
Someone should have told me beforehand that the screenplay was by Dennis Lehane based on his own short story. Then expectations would have been higher. I didn’t even know he was involved until the credits rolled, and just after I thought “”wow that was kinda good”” I saw his name flash on the screen. Lehane is also responsible for Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and Shutter Island. All three of which are incredible movies based on equally incredible books.
The Drop, based on his Animal Rescue, follows Bob. Bob (Tom Hardy) works at a bar in Brooklyn that while on the surface is run by his cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), it’s actually owned by some underworld mob bosses. This usually doesn’t have much effect on business, but with little warning, the bar can be called upon to be the night’s “”drop bar””. This is where all the mob’s dirty money is collected for the night, hidden in plain sight, until it can picked up. This particular bar is robbed one night, and Bob finds himself tumbling deeper into the black hole he tries to stay above, as he tries to track down the money and generally keep himself out of trouble.
It doesn’t sound like much, and upon realizing it was based on a short I did notice that stretchy feeling, but it was very effective. Besides Lehane’s sleek writing, a lot of that credit goes to Hardy. There was a side plot thru the whole thing that had to do with Bob rescuing and adopting an abused puppy. Scenes revolving the pup were such a stark contrast to the dark underworld dealings, a juxtoposition not often seen. But why I credit Hardy is that he’s usually known for a lot of tough guy roles. We know he can be stoic and strong. Here we see an incredible vulnerability, some in relation to the dog but it went deeper than that. I was really impressed with how much came across with his restrained performance. He’s certainly been one to watch lately, and his range just keeps on surprising.
The Drop – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n”