“At least I had something once. I was respected. I was feared… that meant something,” says the late James Gandofini’s in his last ever role in Michael R. Roskam’s The Drop. He plays Bob Saginowski’s (Tom Hardy) washed up gangster Cousin Marv. Hardy and Gandolfini run a bar together which gets robbed and puts them under pressure from the people who own the bar and knocked Cousin Marv out of the top of organised crime in Brooklyn.
The idea that this could be Tony Soprano after The Sopranos ended is of course there and could not be avoided. Not that they should have been. Gandolfini gives a great performance full of bitterness over where he has ended up. It’s great to hear the Sopranoesque lines like, “Let’s just assume I’m not an asshole without a plan.”
But this being Gandolfini’s last role is far from the only reason to go see it. This is a proper American crime drama and is better than most. It’s got a plot that’s engaging, thrilling action and few twists to keep you surprised all the way through.
The dialogue is sharp – it’s darkly funny and cutting at times. Like when Gandolfini’s sister says she wants to join a show he replies, “You can’t fucking sing.”
It’s a film with good acting all around. Hardy’s character is a leading man who doesn’t say much. He comes across as a bit of a bumbling dummy and is actually very likeable. He finds a puppy in Noomi Rapace’s bin. Rapace plays an ex-addict named Nadia and is also portrayed well. Hardy ends up taking the puppy which turns out to belong to her psychopathic ex-boyfriend Eric Deeds played by Matthias Schoenaerts. In a film full of strong performances you couldn’t say Schoenharts steals the show but he is fantastic at playing a nutcase.
Interstellar, with its black holes and mixed reviews seems to be taking all the spotlight at the moment and you may have missed The Drop but it’s definitely worth checking out. It’s now showing in cinemas across the country.