“The Drop” Film Review

Morgan Smith

Even the cutest dog in the universe couldn’t save the first notable crime drama of 2014 from being mostly boring.

The Drop” stars Tom Hardy as Bob Saginowski, the owner of Gandolfini’s Bar, Noomi Rapace as Bob’s neighbor, and James Gandolfini as the former bar owner and cousin of Bob. The story follows Saginowski dealing with organized crime and dirty gambling money in New Jersey as he faces drama in his personal life, which revolves around a dog he rescues in a trash can.

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*DISCLAIMER* For all the pet lovers out there, the dog does not die.

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The Drop was released on Sept. 12. Photo courtesy of “The Drop” Facebook page

The film is Michaël R. Roskam‘s English-language directorial debut, based off of Dennis Lehane‘s short story “Animal Rescue.”

Dennis Lehane is also the author of “Shutter Island,” which has a fantastic film adaptation directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Hardcore crime drama fans like myself have had a tough time in 2014. “The Drop” is really the first notable modern crime drama to come out this year.  There is still hope for the rest of the year, with “Nightcrawler,” “Escobar: Paradise Lost,” “Revenge of the Green Dragons,” “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” “Gone Girl,” “Inherent Vice,” “Kill the Messenger” and “The Gambler.”

Adapting short stories for the big screen is incredibly difficult, as more often than not, the source material won’t have enough dramatic events to fill two hours of screen time.

Though “The Drop” was not a long movie, it felt incredibly long. The pace for this film is quite slow. This could have been avoided through the addition of more plot points or just making the film even shorter, but the director chose to stay true to Lehane’s original story.

Unfortunately, this resulted in an overabundance of filler scenes with no action or dialogue.

The set up for “The Drop” takes a really long time. The rising action doesn’t really happen until halfway through, and the climax, which was amazing, happened in the last 20 minutes. Though the last third of the film was full of the gritty and dark crime drama and violence I love, it just didn’t make up for the slow and almost pointless two thirds of the movie.

The first two thirds of the film’s plot is basically as follows: Tom Hardy takes care of a really awesome dog and has an awkward relationship with his neighbor and cousin. Oh, and he tends at a bar. Seriously, nothing else happens. However, I was saved by the action and the awesome twist near the end.

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Picture courtesy of “The Drop” Facebook page

Tom Hardy is one of my favorite actors, giving just perfect performances in “Inception,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Lawless” and “Bronson.” But in “The Drop,” he seems to intentionally act poorly. I did not care for his character, Bob Saginowski, until he shows his other side towards the end of the film.

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At that point, his character became extremely interesting, Hardy’s acting kicked into high gear as expected. He became a character I would go to see a film for. But the credits rolled 10 minutes later.

In general, the film was shot very well, it just suffered from not becoming entertaining fast enough. Now, I love slow-paced films as much as the next movie-buff, but they have to be done right. And “The Drop” just didn’t quite cut it for me.

“The Drop” is playing at Cinemark Fort Collins now.

This is the last film appearance of James Gandolfini, who died June 19th, 2013.

Collegian A&E Writer Morgan Smith can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @MDSFilms.