I saw “The Drop” last night on a friend’s recommendation at The Little. My friend raved about the film and requested I write a review. I didn’t think it was anything particularly fantastic and you can afford to wait for this one to come out on Netflix or DVD (old school). I went into the film fresh, having heard little about it. I think I may have seen a trailer and of course, the idea that it was James Gandolfini’s last film was enticing. Here is the trailer for those interested (spoilers past the trailer):
Having seen the trailer I’m not sure what I was expecting. It was a familiar Gandolfini brooding and moping around, just how I remembered him in The Sopranos. Gandolfini spends much of the film feeling sorry for himself and mopes around bitterly; the usual bag of tricks. Leading the film was Bob Saginowski played Tom Hardy who is convincing playing a bumbling Long Island idiot. Having grown up with my fair share of people from Long Island and NYC I found the accents in the movie to be annoying and forced. In fact as soon as the narration started in the beginning of the film my first thought was, “That doesn’t sound authentic”. Is it THAT difficult to find people with genuine accents anymore?
We follow this bumbling idiot Bob as he goes about his normal routine. This routine seems to consist of little more than drinking with the bar regulars, tending bar and “charlie work”. He’s a one-dimensional character who is difficult to relate to. Additionally HE DRINKS DOS EQUIS. In fact, EVERYONE DRINKS DOS EQUIS IN THE WHOLE FILM. Why? Why did Dos Equis want to get behind this film? Are they that desperate (probably)? Was Narragansett busy with other more lucrative deals (probably)? When people are drinking something like Dos Equis in a Brooklyn bar, I wonder about how stupid the filmmakers think I am.
Bob in a rare display of emotion finds what he believes is a “boxer” terrier in a trash can outside some woman’s house. “Nadia”, played by Noomi Rapace, is equally as bad as Tom Hardy is, if not worse. Her accent is comical and at times she sounds Russian. At other times she sounds like she’s trying to force out Rosie Perez in White Men Can’t Jump, (great film by the way if you haven’t seen it). I was about as interested in her as am I about picking out socks in the morning.
After a few serendipitous meetings Bob and Nadia become friends. In a strange scene Nadia convinces Bob to hire her to watch the new dog they (he?) now have (has). At some point later in the film two knuckleheads decide to rob the bar. It was around this point that we meet the Chechens, who run Brooklyn (allegedly). Around this time, we also meet the greasy NYPD Detective who looks like he’s leading a double life between detective and spokesperson for “Soul Glow”.
The detective, like everyone else in the film, is ineffective. He also made me uncomfortable in ways I have trouble articulating. When he first appeared on screen at the church I thought for sure it was a cameo by Fred Armisen in his role as the guy from the film, “Eurotrip.”
In an attempt to exact some sort of revenge on his Chechen overlords we learn that James Gandolfini’s character wants to rob his own bar. There were a few parts of the film were the dialogue was good, but these moments were sparse and not worth mentioning. There’s a weird sub plot with Nadia’s ex-boyfriend that is somewhat important.
I really wanted to like this film. I decided to do something a bit unusual for me, I read some of the reviews from others and I’m a bit perplexed as to how my opinion could be so vastly different than most of the critics. In the notes I took after the film I wrote, “Clever but not brilliant”, which to me sums up the film. I’ve left a lot out of my synopsis but the gist of it was this: The Drop is a slow paced pedestrian film that is worth waiting for (if at all).