Everybody loves a good heist movie—right Crimeziners? Thing is, The Drop is much more than just another heist movie, it is a slow burning tale of manipulation based around Brooklyn Bar Marv’s. James Gandolfini is the marvelous Marv, an on the ropes bar manager who used to own the place until his gambling debts forced him to sell up to the new owners—a Chechen organized crime syndicate.
The Chechens needless to say are very bad people—the kind of gangsters who would hack you up and dump you in the East river in a New York second if they thought you were trying to steal their money. Who would do such a thing? Plenty of folks as it turns out, because the Chechens are using the bar as a “drop joint” a collection front for their ill gotten loot. And in the down at heel environs of Marv’s Place, there are a whole host of bottom feeders stupid—or desperate enough to give it a go.
However, the real star of this movie is simple-minded barman Bob Saginowski played by Tom Hardy. Bob is a sweet guy who puts up with bitter uncle Marv, because he doesn’t have options. But Bob’s life changes irrevocably one dark winter night, as he heads home and finds a battered puppy abandoned in a trashcan. Who would do such a thing?
Enter nutso neighborhood character Eric, who has gifted the battered puppy as a nasty surprise to his ex Nadia. [Noomi Girl with a Dragon Tattoo Rapace.] Needless to say Eric is non too happy when Bob and Nadia hook up and begin nursing the puppy back to health. Bottom feeder Eric has many cruel and creepy surprises up his sleeve for the young couple, all delivered with his characteristic sniveling nastiness.
Just as it seems things cannot get any worse for Bob, a junky duo snatch the till takings at the bar. They want the drop money, but settle for five large instead. Not much money in the scheme of things but the Chechens want their money back on the hurry up. What is a guy to do?
The Drop was based on the Dennis Lehane short story Animal Shelter. Lehane wrote the screenplay for the movie, which after his outstanding record of success with projects such as Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island is a natural progression. This movie isn’t exactly Lehane’s first rodeo as a screenwriter. he has written three episodes of the award winning series The Wire and worked as writer and creative consultant on the crimetastic HBO series Boardwalk Empire.
It is rare to see a screenplay this real or this engaging. Standout performances by Gandolfini and Tom Hardy are so good you almost don’t want The Drop to end—This was Gandolfini’s last movie before he died. He chain smokes and waddles corpulently through every scene and whilst his performance provides an outstanding epitaph, one cannot help wishing the great man had shown a little more concern for his personal welfare. Run don’t walk. Go see The Drop today.