Based on a graphic novel, The Kitchen refers to the infamous Hell’s Kitchen on the West edge of Midtown in New York City, a perfect setting for an Irish working class mob story taking place during the 70’s.
Starring Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss, the cast and the 70s crime drama concept make for high expectations. It was written and directed by Andrea Berloff, who received an Oscar nomination for original screenplay for “Straight Outta Compton”.
Melissa McCarthy, also an Oscar nominee, although best known for her comedic roles, takes on the challenge of transcending her roots in a deep dive into more dramatic fare. Elisabeth Moss, after her success in both “Madmen” and “The Handmaids Tale” brings her resume to bear. Playing housewives who are married to mobster husbands, all languishing behind bars, they choose to take matters, literally, into their own hands in their absence.
The Verdict is…Wrong?
Reviewers have not been kind. The film has received any number of clever criticisms, from cooking metaphors to polyester put downs, most of which all fault the writer / director for not making the most of the cast and concept.
Our take is that this will do better than the reviews would indicate, although the phenomenon is hardly unique, even “The Lion King” was panned by many scribes before going on to break box office records across the globe.
The mob genre with a female twist, though not exactly unheard of, is thoughtfully explored, and the 70s look and feel are not miles off from “Taxi Driver” or “The French Connection” at least in capturing the era with superficial accuracy, if not the caliber of filmmaking.
The trailer above can give enough of a taste of what the film has to offer, for those considering a night out to see it in a theater, or want a preview to stream at a later date, can surely make an informed decision. I’d say yes on this one.
Opens in theaters beginning today, August 9th.
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