It’s probably impossible to review “The Drop” and not mention that this is the last performance of the late, great James Gandolfini. While Gandolfini is amazing here and reminds us that we lost a great actor last fall, “The Drop” may mark the beginning of new career opportunities for his co-star, Tom Hardy. Hardy, who received much critical acclaim for his work in this year’s earlier release “Locke,” shows that he has what it takes to take him beyond action films and establish himself as a character actor.
In “The Drop,” Hardy plays a bartender named Bob who is employed by his cousin Marv in an establishment that Marv used to own before he was forced to sell it to some Chechen gangsters. The new owners aren’t interested in the day-to-day operations. Rather, their interest in the place is to use it as a temporary depository for their illegal money. All goes smoothly until one night the place is robbed and there is immediate suspicion that Marv was not only aware of it but also engineered the entire thing. Thus, the robbery puts into play a series of events which has long-lasting consequences both for Marv and Bob including deeply buried secrets they would both like to forget. While the plot seems straightforward, there are enough twists and revelations to keep even the most jaded viewer entertained. You really will have no idea how it ends.
Gandolfini and Hardy show great on-screen chemistry, and the former embodies his role so naturally that at times, it’s easy to forget that he is acting. “The Drop” reminds us that when it comes to a great crime drama, a big budget and impressive special effects aren’t always necessary. Rather, great writing and talent are.