There is no doubt that the late, great James Gandolfini goes out with a bang in his final film role, but I was more impressed with the work of Tom Hardy. To those who liked him as Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises”, let me assure you there is no trace of Bane here.
Tom Hardy plays Bob Saginowski, a run down nobody who runs a bar owned by his Cousin Marv (Gandolfini). It is a normal, run down bar you may find if driving down the city roads. That does not mean it is not crooked. It was bought by the mob years ago as a place to “drop” dirty money.
The key part of the movie, I feel, is the performances. Hardy shows Bob as someone who we can relate to: down on his luck but extremely kind hearted (his relationship with the dog he owns is one of the most real I have felt for some time). He strikes a friendship with Nadia (Noomi Rapace, also great here), who helps him with the dog training. It starts as a prologue to what may seem to be an nice sweet romance, but “The Drop” is too smart of a movie to take quick cliché routes.
As Cousin Marv (which is what every character calls him, not just Bob), Gandolfini gives us a great send off to what was a wonderful acting career. Like his performance in “Begin Again”, he defines the term of bittersweet. There were times I forgot it was him acting. He was just simply being.
Parents, there are some violent scenes, but not as much as you may think. There is no sexual scenes of ANYKIND. Really, the R rating is just for the swearing, which there is a lot of. Stilll, the kids these days (sadly) say all these at school, so it is nothing new to any High Schooler (or even middle schooler).
In the end, the movie belongs to the performers. Hardy gives glimpses of other movie “bums” like Rocky Balboa and Terry Malloy. Rapace and all the other supporting cast don’t overact or underact. They just act, and do it wonderfully. And Gandolfini? Well, here is hoping he can finally get an Oscar nomination. He deserves it.
Overall: 4 Stars ****