Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gangsters Gangsters Everywhere: The Tales of Two Bobs

So recently the movies I’ve been watching have been full of gangsters, particularly of the Eastern European variety.  I suppose the Mafia and Yakuza are so passè these days.  Whatever.  First up is The Drop.  This slightly offbeat film is based on a Dennis Lehane short story called Animal Rescue.  [And if you ask me, that is a better title than The Drop, but, again, whatever.] The Drop stars Tom Hardy as Bob, a seemingly unassuming guy who tends bar at his cousin Marv’s (James Gandolfini) place in Brooklyn.  But Marv’s is not just your run-of-the-mill neighborhood filling station.  For reasons that are only vaguely revealed, Marv’s place also serves as a money drop for Chechen mobsters.  When Bob finds a pitbull puppy in a trash can and the bar is robbed of its drop money, the two incidents cause an unexpected chain of events with a twist.  Truly, by the end, you’ll be wondering which animal is in need of rescue, the dog or the man.  Hardy  and Gandolfini, in one of his last roles, give finely-tuned performances which underscore a slow-burning chemistry.  Marv’s storm and chaos is well-balanced by Bob’s reserve and stoicism.  And, of course, like any good gangster movie, there’s no shortage of violence.  It may not be The Godfather, but The Drop is good stuff.

Next up is The Equalizer.  Entertainment Weekly gave the movie “D” and I have no idea why because I thoroughly enjoyed it.  What red-blooded woman wouldn’t want to watch Denzel Washington go to any length to defend the honor of a young woman?  What dude wouldn’t want to watch all the ways you can kill gangsters just using stuff you find in Home Depot or Lowes?  Sounds like bloody good fun to me.  Based on the ‘80s television series of the same name, Washington plays Bob [sound familiar], some sort of inactive government agent [CIA or B613, anyone?] who comes out of retirement to take on Russian gangsters who are preying on a young prostitute named Teri (played by Chloe Grace Moretz).  Before coming to Teri’s rescue, Bob has been spending his “retirement” toiling away in a home improvement warehouse by day and hanging out in the local diner by night when insomnia gets the better of him.  It is only by taking up Teri’s cause and helping others in seemingly hopeless situations, that Bob is able to find his purpose and get some sleep.  It’s a good vehicle for Washington.  Pairing once again with Antoine Fuqua who directed him in Training Day, Washington is able to be a badass without being a baddie.  In fact, The Equalizer reminded me a lot of Man on Fire in which Washington’s character killed many Mexican gangsters to save a kidnapped girl.  Unlike Man on Fire, however, The Equalizer is ripe for a franchise.  And at 59, Washington has proved that he can still carry the box office all by himself.  I am so ready for The Equalizer 2!

1 comment:

  1. Right on point with these reviews. These movies required two big bags of popcorn each to watch...thrilling to the very end. There should be a check in the mail with your ATL Flick Chick's name on it for the huge thumbs up for the positive reviews and the clever and thoughtful writing. Or, at least a couple of bags of Paul Newman's Organic Popcorn...


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