The Drop is adapted from the short story 'Animal Rescue' by Dennis Lehane, the man who's also responsible for giving us Shutter Island, Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River, so we have a lot to thank him for. It follows the story of Bob (Tom Hardy), a lonely bartender who, along with his cousin (and previous owner), Marv (James Gandolfini) are robbed one night by two thugs who steal everything in the cash register. As well as this, when walking home one night Bob discovers a wounded pitbull. With the help of a woman named Nadia (Noomi Rapace), Bob attempts to aid this dog back to health.
Don't go into The Drop expecting a fast paced, action packed crime thriller. It's far from it, actually. It's brilliant of course, but it's not any of those. The film is gritty, realistic and exciting, but not always entirely eventful. It tells its story at a slower pace than other gangster films, if this can even be described as a "gangster" film. In fact, don't even expect this film to be entirely as advertised. Yet again, it's not. The Drop takes a shockingly vibrant turn in its story, focussing more on the relationship between Tom Hardy's character and Noomi Rapace's character, as well as Tom Hardy's character and the dog he finds stranded in a bin. Animal Rescue is more a suitable title for the events in this film, but The Drop is a more exciting one. No matter what you want to call this film, it doesn't stop the final product from being excellent.
The screenplay is tightly woven and full of surprises. Adapted by the writer of the original short story, The Drop propels itself above other films with similar concepts through it's dark and thrilling screenplay and occasionally comedic dialogue. It's a very serious film, but like all dramas (or at least all good ones), it's got a sense of humour too. More importantly, however, is that the film travels at a fast pace, leading us eagerly from scene to scene and to a conclusion that's unexpected, yet it works. The twist's no Fight Club, but it's neat.
Much like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, The Drop stars an actor who's no longer with us. An actor who's so damn good at what they do, and an actor that saved one of their best performances for last. Or at least that's what it is for James Gandolfini. Phillip Seymour Hoffman may not have saved his best for last, but technically we're yet to see his last. We've seen half of it. James Gandolfini is a phenomenal actor and since this is the last we'll ever see of him on screen, I'm happy to say he went out with a bang.
While Gandolfini shines, as does Tom Hardy, who's recently proven himself to be quite the performer. With Locke and The Drop both coming out this year, Tom Hardy hasn't just shown us that he's capable of multiple accents, but he's also capable of being one Hollywood's best. His character is relaxed and confident, never seeming to get anxious or worried about a thing. That is until Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts) enters the picture, his character posing as a major threat. This threat gets an even better performance out of Hardy, something only God knew was possible.
The Drop is full of tension too, particularly when the third act's gears begin to grind. As the film goes on the threat, which I literally just mentioned, builds up, and in doing so the tension does too. It just builds and builds, and basic science tells us that when something is full it must go elsewhere, so the tension explodes. This explosion is timed to perfection, the tension being lost when it's no longer needed. To be honest, I'm not sure if I just complimented the film or if I described a basic thriller's ending, but either way it's a good thing. I think.
To sum up, you shouldn't go into The Drop expecting a fast paced, action packed crime thriller as it's not. But what it is is an exciting, tension filled and phenomenally acted crime drama with an ending that's pretty damn neat.