American crime dramas have occupied a lot of Hollywood’s time over the years. However, the gangster films of The Godfather and Goodfellas are largely in the past, replaced by a new breed of criminal. Gone are the Italian Mafiosi. They’ve been replaced by gangs from Eastern Europe. Go to a cinema nowadays, and more often than not, you’re likely to see Liam Neeson fighting his way through an ever growing number of Albanians, Russians or Balkans. In Michaël R. Roskam’s The Drop, the bad guys are Chechen but I’m not sure there are any good ones.
Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) is a bartender at Cousin Marv’s in Brooklyn. Cousin Marv (James Gandolfini) himself runs the bar, but it’s owned by a Chechen, Chovka (Michael Aronov). One day, Bob discovers an injured dog in the trash outside of Nadia’s (Noomi Rapace) house. He ends up taking the dog home and striking up a relationship with her. This is threatened when the mysterious Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts) appears on the scene. When a large drop is planned at the bar on Superbowl night, Bob suspects that Marv is up to something.
The Drop is an odd film in many ways. Tim Hardy once again mumbles up and accent whilst James Gandolfini seems to be going through the motions. Having said that, Hardy is quite good. As is Noomi Rapace. It seems to be descending into a superior TV episode before Michaël R. Roskam’s impressive twist adds another dimension. The Drop is an entertaining enough distraction, which is far more clever and thoughtful than many other crime dramas.
The Drop is released on DVD & Blu-ray by 20th Century Fox on March 23.