I’m just going to flat out say it – Tom Hardy is my favorite actor in the game right now. He of The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max and The Revenant fame has sneakily been murdering each and every role over the past two decades. Show of hands for anyone who knew he was in early-2000s mega-hits Black Hawk Down or Band of Brothers? Yeah, didn’t think so. But pretty cool, in my opinion. The British actor has versatility like no other, with no accent or genre or required weight gain/loss too daunting. So was I on board when I randomly saw the trailer for a 2014 crime-thriller centered on him and the late, VERY great James Gandolfini? Hell yes I was! And so should you…
Looks awesome, right? You’re probably thinking, “Woah, how did I not see this when it came out?” Well, nobody did. Except for me, of course… in theatres… no big deal… (humble brag). With a, relatively speaking, modest $12.6 million budget and limited marketing, this film wasn’t exactly destined for blockbuster status like most independent movies. Instead, Belgian director Michaël R. Roskam focused his efforts on using his insanely talented cast and sharply-written script to tell a fantastically-gripping tale. Sometimes it’s not always about the money, folks.
At its core, the plot line is honestly nothing the audience hasn’t seen before – a story of friendship and betrayal set in the gang-infested, seedy underworld of New York City. Tom Hardy plays the main character Bob, an unassuming guy who tends bar for his pal Marv (Gandolfini, RIP), a down-on-his-luck former loan shark who lends his bar to Chechan gangsters as a place to hold/exchange money. Their bar is involved in a robbery, which gets them in hot water with said gang. Meanwhile, Bob falls for a girl who gets brought into the fold. The characters’ backgrounds are exposed over the course of the film, their respective histories intertwining for better or for worse. Again – the plot is certainly original but not exactly groundbreaking. Instead, The Drop hangs it hat on superb acting across the board. Not even just Gandolfini and Hardy, but the supporting characters stand out as well. Noomi Rapace (of Prometheus fame, among others) was sensational as Hardy’s love interest, and fellow Belgian Matthias Schoenaerts does his best to steal the show in the main antagonist role.
Don’t let the ‘indie movie’ label fool you, this is just a great flick. It doesn’t have the quirkiness and desire to be different that most small-budget productions love to employ. The Drop is extremely easy to watch and at just 106 minutes, not a day-stealer either. So I urge readers to check this out ASAP, On Demand or however people watch movies these days. If you need to buy it, message me and I will give you my roommate’s credit card info, like always. Carry on my friends and RIP TONY SOPRANO.
Oddities: The Drop was James Gandolfini’s final film appearance. The actor died in 2013, prior to the film’s debut.
Photo Credits: Collegian.com, The AV Club, Apnatimepass.com