The Drop is set in a bar in Brooklyn, where everyone effects a ‘New Yoik’ accent, regardless of whether they’re the late, great James Gandolfini, or London-born Tom Hardy. It starts with a group commiserating the disappearance of their friend, Richie Whelan, a man who went missing ten years earlier – with the cops still not having solved the case, and while Bob tends bar, the place is run by Cousin Marv (Gandolfini, putting in a fine performance in what turned out to be his last released film). After one night of drops, some bad guys come in and knock the place off, but do they realise that they’re not stealing from Marv and Bob, but actually from Chovka (Michael Aronov), a bigger baddie who you really don’t want to mess with.
As you might expect, it’s the central place for the criminal fraternity’s nerfarious financial doings. Well, they have a few places they could use and they move it around the town so as not to attract the suspicion of the police, led by Det Evandro Torres (John Ortiz), who suspects that something’s going on every 5 minutes because he’s constantly sniffing around, so the crims are clearly not doing a good job.
Based on a short story called Animal Rescue, by Dennis Lehane – who also developed the screenplay, that side of thing soon comes into play when Bob (Tom Hardy) discovers a pitbull in the trash can of abuse victim Nadia (Noomi Rapace), and in a place where everyone’s looking to stab everyone else in the back ,you have to choose your friends carefully, so she’s cautious to let him into her life, especially since she’s still smarting from the break-up of the obsessive Eric (Matthias Schoenaerts).
Deep down, the premise isn’t original – including some double-crossing, and not always knowing who’s on whose side, but the two leads give it gravitas which make for an intriguing watch, especially in the second half. Meanwhile, the first half is a bit too slow to get going and it feels, overall, like there’s a lack of a structured plot, for example when it tries to throw in Bob reconnecting with his religion by bringing a church into things as an alternative meeting place.
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical anamorphic widescreen ratio and looks as good as a DVD can do. Compared to a Blu-ray, the DVD looks a little soft, but other than that, there are no issues. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma TV via a Samsung BD-P1500 player.
The sound is in Dolby Digital 5.1 and is a drama with no split-surround effects, but dialogue, ambience and occasional music are spot-on.
The extras are as follows and it looks like there might be a lot, but there isn’t really:
- Keeping It Real (3:46): A rather inconsequential featurette mixing clips from the film with chat from the key cast and crew members.
- Making of The Drop (3:37): Following the same format, this basically told me that they made a script out of a short story. Which I already knew.
- Making Brooklyn Your Own (3:51): They chose Brooklyn to film this movie. But you already knew that.
- Rocco the Dog (2:17): Insight from the pitbull, himself. Well, not really.
- Character Profile: James Gandolfini (2:07): Some brief chat about the great actor, even if it’s barely any kind of a tribute.
- Gallery: 24 images on display.
- Theatrical Trailer (2:17): In the original widescreen ratio of 2.35:1.
- Audio commentary: from director Michael R Roskam and author Dennis Lehane
Sadly, the UK release does not contain any deleted scenes, which are on the US release, even though they’re a similarly small offering of just four scenes (one of which actualy shows barfly Millie) and runs for 6:23.
Chapters are a fantastic number, here. Like The Maze Runner, there’s a total of 36 across the 102-minute running time. More of this, please, Fox!
The menu features a backdrop of Tom Hardy with some music from the film, and although Fox have put some trailers before the main menu, they’ve made them thing entirely skippable. That’s a plus. Subtitles are available in Castilian, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian.
Running time: 102 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video
Released: March 23rd 2015
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Castilian, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (ARRIRAW (2.8K))
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Michaël R Roskam
Producers: Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark and Mike Larocca
Screenplay: Dennis Lehane (based on his short story, “Animal Rescue”)
Music: Marco Beltrami and Raf Keunen
Bob: Tom Hardy
Nadia: Noomi Rapace
Cousin Marv: James Gandolfini
Eric Deeds: Matthias Schoenaerts
Detective Torres: John Ortiz
Detective Romsey: Elizabeth Rodriguez
Chovka: Michael Aronov
Andre: Morgan Spector
Rardy: Michael Esper
Father Regan: Ross Bickell
Fitz: James Frecheville
Briele: Tobias Segal
Millie: Patricia Squire
Dottie: Ann Dowd
Jimmy: Chris Sullivan