The Kitchen (2019)

Andrea Berloff directs Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss in this crime thriller where three housewives take on the protection rackets in Hell’s Kitchen of the early Eighties.

There’s a better film struggling to get out here. You see it peeking through the often trite and short-sighted storytelling choices. On the poorer side, we have a fantasy New York where business owners seemingly want to pay extortion with smiles on their faces, where a well concealed twist then has no further consequences and it all builds to quite the anti-climax where girl power somehow supersedes betrayal and violence. On the plus side though, Domnhall Gleeson makes for a very unusual object of attraction, Bill Camp has fun as a pragmatic mob boss and the colourful visual framing perfectly captures the feel of a 4 issue Vertigo comic book run. I read a Sight and Sound review that said this was ‘incomprehensible’ but then revealed various misinterpretations of the plot that showed the writer hadn’t given the film their full attention. It really isn’t as bad as the critics make out, but equally not strong enough an entertainment to die on a hill for.

5

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