Film review: The Drop (15, 106 mins)

The Bane of all the bad guys

Saturday, 15th November 2014, 5:00 pm
The Drop. Pictured: Tom Hardy as Bob Saginowski
The Drop. Pictured: Tom Hardy as Bob Saginowski

Adapted for the screen by novelist Dennis Lehane from his 2009 short story Animal Rescue, The Drop is a solid, dependable crime thriller set predominantly in a Brooklyn bar, which the Chechen mob uses as a collection point for laundered money.

In these boozy and convivial surroundings, romance is kindled, personal ties are frayed and one hard-working member of bar staff contemplates breaking the law for a noble cause: love.

Belgian director Michael R Roskam’s second feature, his follow-up to the Oscar nominated Bullhead, gradually turns the screws, exerting pressure on the characters as they wrestle with their consciences.

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Some capitulate while others demonstrate hidden reserves of strength, resourcefulness and aggression that prove you should never judge a book by its well-worn cover.

The Drop is blessed with James Gandolfini’s final screen performance and he is a slippery, brooding presence amid occasional twists of a serpentine plot.

However, it’s chameleonic London-born star Tom Hardy, who wrought havoc on Christian Bale and Gotham as masked madman Bane, who shines brightest.