The Kitchen Movie Review: Sub-standard crime thriller

Updated: Sep 02, 2019, 16:28 IST | Johnson Thomas

The Kitchen is a slapdash, patchy attempt at gangster thriller. Too many characters crammed into a 100-minute runtime allow for little heft in the telling of its story.

A still from The Kitchen
A still from The Kitchen

The Kitchen
U/A: Crime, Drama
Director: Andrea Berloff
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish, Domhnall Gleason
Rating: Rating

The Kitchen is an original story (based on the Vertigo comic book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle) constructed around three strong actresses (Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish) as mob-wives (of Brian d'Arcy James, Kevin O'Carroll and Jeremy Bobb) — who take it upon themselves to run their husbands' businesses, after their men go to jail. They belong to the Irish mafia and their fiefdom runs between 8th Avenue and the Hudson River, 20 blocks of a tough New York City neighbourhood known as Hell's Kitchen.

The set-up, a 1970's crime encapsulation, is interesting enough with the three female protagonists, initially unwilling and eventually finding their feet and getting smart enough to outwit their husbands after they return post serving time. The women are ruthless. They destroy neighbourhood businesses, truck with the mafia, and subcontract horrendous acts, in order to hold on to their power. Domhnall Gleeson, as their go-to man for all evil, is the standout performer in a rather glum, unsatisfying and unchallenging feature.

Writer/director Andrea Berloff tries hard to make these women's antics justifiable and it only looks forced with the sympathetic writing looking out of place. The female actors might have been given challenging roles but neither McCarthy and Haddish, who specialised in comedy, nor Moss (Mad Men fame) can make this into something worthwhile — a la The Widows.

The Kitchen is a slapdash, patchy attempt at gangster thriller. Too many characters crammed into a 100-minute runtime allow for little heft in the telling of its story.

Also read: Angel Has Fallen Movie Review: Regurgitated... But Happening!

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