Review: The Drop

Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) can’t decide whether to name an injured Pit Bull he rescues Rocco or Mike.

Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) can’t decide whether to name an injured Pit Bull he rescues Rocco or Mike. He prefers Mike, but the stranger who helps him look after the dog, Nadia (Noomi Rapace), thinks Rocco is the better name. That Bob mistakenly thinks the dog is a Boxer and upon learning it’s breed states “that’s a dangerous dog” is telling. It’s a subtle cue that director Michael R. Roksam doesn’t push too hard in his first American feature, The Drop. Bob’s name also might or might not be suited to him. It’s not what we think of as being a ‘hard man’ name, but then again Bob seems more the gentle, unassuming type. He likes to go about his bartending job without sticking his nose into others’ business or causing any trouble. Given the tough Brooklyn neighbourhood he’s in, that’s probably wise. The bar he works at once belonged to his cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), but is now owned by Chechen gangsters who randomly use the bar as a ‘drop’ for dirty money. The thematically relevant Pit Bull storyline (the film is adapted from the Dennis Lehane short story Animal Rescue) becomes somewhat conveniently intertwined with the seedy goings-on between Marv and the Chechen heavies. Increasingly, Bob becomes the reluctant pivotal figure and the film’s tension (of which there is much), derives from the uncertainty about his character. Hardy plays it perfectly in another strong performance that rises above any genre familiarity – it is difficult to take your eyes off him. Gandolfini more than holds his own in their scenes together as a man desperately and foolishly trying to reclaim what little power he once had. It’s Hardy’s controlled power as Bob, however, that makes The Drop worth watching. The Drop (MA) is in cinemas now

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