Who knew Bane had it in him?
“The Drop” is the story of the inner city workings of crime in Brooklyn, where a lonely bartender, played by Tom Hardy finds himself caught up in the underworld of funnelling money to local gangsters and how he handles his job, the police, and even his personal life amidst the darkness. The story itself doesn’t seem much different than many other crime dramas before it, so is there anything here that can elevate this one beyond the others? The answer is Yes, and his name is Tom Hardy.
Wow is Hardy doing great work here. I love it when an actor puts a character on screen that feels completely fresh and unique and Hardy’s take on Bob the bartender is unlike anything I’ve seen before. He somehow manages to play this man as both compassionate and aloof, mentally aware and yet seemingly simple. His interactions with everyone around him feel real and give the movie a genuine boost of interest, with the audience always wondering what he will say or how he might react to the next situation. It’s a performance that almost has to be seen to be understood. He also has some other actors stepping up around him as well. James Gandolfini is wonderful, as are the actors who play his love interest, the detective, and even the minor roles around him. It’s also written very well, with a plot that seems to find just the right balance between too simple and too complex. I never felt lost and I never felt bored which is a tough sweet spot to nail for these kinds of movies. The result is a compelling movie rooted in genuine suspense even if the conclusion is a bit soft.
And that’s probably the worst thing about it. It doesn’t seem to ultimately go anywhere. Part of this may be due to the fact that the characters themselves aren’t much worth rooting for so you aren’t sure what kind of conclusion would be satisfying. Even as impressive as Hardy’s performance is it’s hard to gain empathy as some of this plot is revealed, even with an adorable puppy thrown into the mix. The overall effect is that you want to dig deeper into these characters and lives and when you do you don’t uncover much treasure worth taking with you after the journey.
At the end of the day, “The Drop” is a crime drama that finds it’s energy in a talented cast, a well executed plot, and a killer performance by Tom Hardy. If it had found a stronger point of view or a more compelling conclusion it might have grown even beyond it’s solid B+